Bang-Clang Day

Bang-Clang Day is observed next on Sunday, March 9th, 2025 (266 days from today).

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Bang-Clang Day is annually celebrated on March 9th to commemorate the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9 1862.

History of Bang-Clang Day

The purpose of Bang-Clang Day is to honor the Battle of Hampton Roads, a Civil War battle fought on March 9, 1862. The battle is significant not because of its outcome, but because it marked the first battle among the iron ships, ushering in a new era of naval warfare. On the Confederate side was Virginia, formerly USS Merrimack, and on the Union side was Monitor.

Merrimack was a 40-gun frigate: she floated in 1855, served in the Caribbean, and was flagship of the Pacific fleet in the late 1850s. In the early 1860s, she was undergoing repairs at Norfolk, Virginia, and that's where it happened when the Civil War began in April 1861. It was sunk by the Confederacy as they evacuated, and was raised and rebuilt by Confederates as Virginia. The old hull and engine remained, and it was equipped with powerful guns and heavy armor. The ship emerged in February 1862.

The USS Monitor, designed by John Ericsson, has a low profile, flat iron deck just 18 inches above the water. However, it has a cylindrical turret that protrudes from the center of the ship. Besides the 18 inches above the water, there are 11 feet of the vessel lying in the water, giving the vessel the ability to navigate shallow harbors and rivers. Like the Virginia, it was commissioned in February.

The South attempted to break the Union blockade of southern ports, which had been in place since the beginning of the war. On March 8, Virginia sank two Confederate ships and ran aground in Hampton Roads, an area in southeastern Virginia. The monitor went to the Chesapeake Bay to engage its southern counterpart. The battle began on the morning of March 9 and lasted four hours. The ships circled around each other, and cannonballs were fired from them. None of the ships were seriously damaged, but the Monitor was able to prevent Virginia from sinking further ships. After the battle, it returned to Norfolk.

During that year, both ships were destroyed. Two months after the battle, the Union invaded the James Peninsula, and the Confederates scuttled Virginia as they withdrew. The Monitor sank in bad weather in late 1862 off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Its wreck was discovered in 1973. Many of its artifacts are now on display at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

How to Celebrate Bang-Clang Day

On Bang-Clang Day, you can be celebrate by visiting the Mariners Museum and viewing artifacts from the Display. You can get more knowledge about the battle via books, or a movie such as Ironclads.


Bang-Clang Day has been observed annually on March 9th.


Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Saturday, March 9th, 2024

Sunday, March 9th, 2025

Monday, March 9th, 2026

Tuesday, March 9th, 2027

Also on Sunday, March 9th, 2025

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