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You might wonder why the National Museum of the Pacific War (NMPW) is located in a small, land-locked town in Central Texas. The answer is simple: Fredericksburg is the hometown of WWII hero Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. A world-class museum and now a Smithsonian Affiliate, NMPW is a six-acre complex housing 55,000 square feet of exhibits, a Memorial Courtyard filled with thousands of tributes to WWII veterans, a Japanese Garden of Peace and more. The Pacific Combat Zone is home to a battlefield emulating Pacific Islands and where Living History reenactments demonstrate weaponry, battle tactics and other resources used by both the U.S. and Japanese forces. The Admiral Nimitz Gallery provides intimate glimpses into the life of Fredericksburg’s hometown hero. Almost 100 personal and family artifacts are displayed, dotting the rich biography of Nimitz from childhood through his retirement at the highest rank in the U.S. Navy. The Gallery boasts state-of-the-art interactives that engage and educate the entire family. The George H.W. Bush Gallery chronicles the Pacific war, beginning with the “backstory” of the geopolitics that led Japan to attack the U.S. Exhibits answer questions such as, “Who was Ensign Sakamaki, the first POW of WWII?” Sakamaki’s story, along with the Japanese midget submarine he piloted during the attack on Pearl Harbor are displayed at the Museum. Ever wondered what an atomic bomb looks like? You can walk right up to a bomb casing identical to the casing on the Fat Man bomb that destroyed Nagasaki and which many say prompted the war’s end. The artifacts themselves are impressive, but it is the stories of ordinary Americans who did the extraordinary that are inspiring. One of the staff’s favorite displays is a flag made by American POWs who for three years hid the stars from a flag they had to destroy to avoid its capture. When their liberation was imminent, they sewed a new flag with parachute material and the stars saved from their old flag. With over 5,000 oral histories housed in the Oral History Collection, visitors can listen to the voices of men and women who served on ships and planes, on the front lines, the home front, in hospitals and more. NMPW welcomes visitors from all over the world. Fredericksburg is a picturesque town with German heritage, good food and plenty to do. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, it is slightly cooler and drier than its closest cities San Antonio and Austin. Visit their website which hosts many videos about the Museum and WWII history. Sign up for their email updates to be informed about webinars, onsite and virtual events, and Museum news. NMPW’s mission is to “educate and inspire present and future generations about World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and the continuing global relevance of its lessons.” They reach students with school visits, hosts many field trips and has a robust Distance Learning program that hosted 9,000 students in the past year – including some as far away as Ghana! ©2021 National Museum of the Pacific War All rights reserved.
By W Robert Kelly, Jr., Museums Coordinator - Gloucester County Parks, Recreation & Tourism Prominently situated adjacent to the historic Gloucester Courthouse sits the 251-year-old Botetourt Building that now houses the Gloucester Museum of History. The imposing masonry structure dates from 1770 and first served as a roadside tavern. It is one of the largest, as well as one of the few brick taverns surviving from the pre-Revolutionary period. The building served as lodging for Gloucester’s visitors from the 1770s through the 1950s, first as a tavern and later as a hotel. In 1965, the county purchased the property to be used as offices. In 2000, the building became home to the Gloucester Museum of History. Today, the museum preserves and interprets the county’s rich history through exhibitions, programming, and a 3,000-object collection. Caption: A 2021 view of the Gloucester Museum of History from the northeast From the earliest days when the Virginia Indians called the area home, to more recent stories related to Civil Rights, the museum interprets the county’s complete history. One of the newest exhibits is “Awakening: The Life & Legacy of T.C. Walker” unveiled in 2021. Featuring a reproduction of the T.C. Walker mural from Main Street, the exhibit examines the life story of the first African American lawyer in Gloucester County. Born enslaved, Walker went on to graduate from Hampton Institute, and would later serve as Superintendent for Gloucester Negro Schools and as a member of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors. He lived through the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras and did great things to help African Americans across the Commonwealth. It is hoped that visitors will explore the stories from the mural, learn about the life of a local hero, and be inspired to make a difference in their community. Caption: “Awakening: The Life & Legacy of T.C. Walker” is the museum’s newest exhibit. Additional exhibits related to the American Revolution and Civil War are located on the museum’s second floor. This space is particularly interesting as it retains considerable original historic fabric from the building’s early use as a tavern. Original hardwood floors and window trim within the large “ballroom,” present an atmosphere reminiscent of the 18th century and Colonial Williamsburg. The large basement contains additional exhibits featuring artifacts that tell the stories of Gloucester’s agricultural history and the importance of the county’s daffodil industry. To complete a visit requires experiencing the other museum properties and the Gloucester Visitor Center, all located within the historic courtcircle, less than 100 feet away. The circle contains five historic structures: the 1766 Colonial Courthouse, two former Clerk’s Offices, (the 1823 Clayton Building and the 1896 Roane Building), a jail constructed in 1873, and a debtors’ prison that dates to 1824. The Colonial Courthouse, one of the oldest in Virginia, is still used for official county functions. The Visitor Center boasts a new interactive exhibit about Werowocomoco, Pocahontas, and the Virginia Indians, and provides an experience for tourists and residents alike. It is a great place to visit for local information or to find a unique gift. To learn more about the Gloucester Museum of History please visit https://www.gloucesterva.info/820/Museum-of-History or call 804-693-1234. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 11:00AM – 3:00PM and admission is free.
Located at 2145 NE 36 th St., the 45 th Museum sits less than a mile West of I-35 on NE 36 th St.The museum boasts 27,000 square feet and a fifteen-acre military park containing over 70military vehicles, tanks, artillery pieces, aircraft, and ancillary equipment.Within the walls of the old 1936 WPA armory you will follow Oklahoma’s military history from the time of the conquistadores to modern times.Among the thousands of artifacts on exhibit you’ll see several special collections. The museumis proud to display the Jordan Reaves US Military Firearms Collection, the third largest of itskind in the nation.The largest collection of items once the personal property of Adolf Hitler on public display in theworld (there are larger collections but not on display).The Bill Mauldin Art collection. Bill Mauldin began his military career in the 45 th Divisionbefore WWII. On display here is the largest collection of Bill Mauldin’s original, Willie & Joecartoons as he drew them in the field during the Second World War. Mr. Mauldin received thePulitzer Prize for this body of work.In our Supporting Forces Hall, you’ll bare witness to the many achievements of the OklahomaAir National Guard and Oklahomans in military aviation, here too is where we maintain all themuseum’s operational vehicles and aircraft.The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am till 4:14 pm. The park is closed notlater than 5:00 pm. Weekends we’re open, Saturday 10:00am to 4:15 pm and Sundays 1:00 pm to4:15 pm.As always, the museum is FREE.Currently the 45 th Infantry Division Association is raising funds with the “Walk of Honor”,they are selling bricks onto which you can have engraved information about any honorablydischarged veteran. Funds raised will not only support the museum but pay for severalmonuments to be erected at American Military Cemeteries in Europe.For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405.424-5313.