Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 22, 2017


The USNA Herndon Monument is a 21-foot-tall grey granite obelisk. It was erected in memory of Captain William Lewis Herndon, who courageously decided to go down with his ship, SS Central America, and the men left aboard rather than save himself on September 12, 1857.

Every year–this year, May 22nd, 2017 at 10:30 am–it is coated in lard and the USNA Plebes try to climb it using a mixture of ingenuity, physics, teamwork, and muscles. The goal: Place their cover on the top.

Here are some images from my daughter’s year:

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And her are some videos that do a darn good job of describing it:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.


  1. They sure come up with unique ways to keep the moral up and have a good time. (you have to be in good shape for this too!!)


  2. […] Herndon Climb […]


  3. […] Herndon Climb (every May) […]


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