Monthly Archives: February 2020

Meeting of February 18, 2020

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, February 18. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Ken Habeeb on “A Sobering Look at the Union’s Ironclad Warship, and the Battle of Hampton Roads”

After some tentative and daunting test missions, the 172-foot USS Monitor, called the “Yankee Cheese Box on a raft,” or labeled more soberly by some, the “iron coffin,” set sail for Hampton Roads, Virginia, to stop the Confederates’ own ironclad vessel from wreaking havoc on the Union’s fleet of wooden war ships in harbor. Its nemesis was a 263-foot “floating barn roof,” a Northern-built vessel salvaged by the Confederates and re-christened the CSS Virginia.

Although the battle was something of a stand-off, it was viewed by the South as a victory when the somewhat superior Monitor could not finish the job it started. The USS Monitor was a technical feat of engineering, and yet deeply flawed. In what way? And what qualities does the USS Monitor share some fifty years later with the innovative and idiosyncratic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright?

Kenneth Habeeb has written for and edited a number of magazines. He is a fervent U.S. history scholar. He is also program director of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table, and an officer of the California Map Society.

Meeting of March 17, 2020

Join us at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, 11:30 on Tuesday, March 17. See the MEETING INFO menu item for specific times and directions. This month’s topic is

Tom Roza on “American Revolution vs. The Civil War: Similarities and Differences”

The two most momentous events in the history of the United States of America occurred less than a century apart; the Revolutionary War occurred in 1775-1783 and the Civil War in 1861-1865. An extensive research into the root causes for each of these two conflicts has revealed that there were numerous social, economic, and political similarities—as well as some differences that led to each conflict.

In the 18th Century, because of the vast geographical distance from both England and Europe in general, and the mixing of different ethnic cultures, with each passing day, people living in the Thirteen Colonies were drifting further apart politically, socially, and economically from their European origins. As the 19th Century progressed, the North had become more urban, industrialized, and its citizens were more migrant that produced a philosophy that America was a “Union of States”. Conversely, the South was more rural, agrarian, and its population was more sedentary; generation after generation grew up and lived in the same towns and counties; that produced a philosophy that America was a “Collection of Independent States.”

From a social perspective, for the period leading up to the Revolutionary War, while most of the people living in the thirteen colonies were of English ancestry, cohabitating with other European ethnic groups as well as being in close proximity to Native American Indians produced a vastly different set of values from those living in England and other European countries. Increasingly, the American colonists saw themselves as more independent and were creating a more homogenous society. For the period leading up to the Civil War, American citizens living in the North had retained that homogenous society perspective that resulted in a more inclusive citizenry. American citizens living in the South sociologically had evolved into a more exclusive society that supported slavery and viewed non-Caucasians and those from non-Protestant religions as foreigners.

Tom Roza will discuss the above and more on this interesting subject, which continues to have ramifications for life in these United States to the present day.

Tom Roza has been a student of history for over 60 years. As an officer and the Secretary of the South Bay Civil War Roundtable, Tom has made numerous presentations on the topic of the Civil War to both his Roundtable organization and other historical organizations in the Bay Area. Tom is also a published author of the book entitled, “Windows to the Past: A Virginian’s Experience in the Civil War” that has been accepted by the Library of Congress into its Catalog, and Tom is currently working on a sequel.