To commemorate Black History Month, the African American Military History Committee is hosting a program at the African American Military History Museum on Thursday, January 31 from 1-3pm with a reception to follow.
“Black History Month is a very important time for our communities to stop, remember, and honor African American Military heroes,” said Latoya Norman, General Manager of the African American Military History Museum. “This year, we are focusing our attention on the Gulf War-era, including Operation Desert Storm, and would like to gather as much information as possible on local veterans of that time. We have extended our deadline to accept information – including names, contact information, or photos of veterans – through January 22. Any living Gulf War-era African American veteran whose information is received will be recognized at the program.”
Veteran information should be submitted to Lt. Col. Frederick Varnado or Latoya Norman at the African American Military History Museum located at 305 E. 6th Street in Downtown Hattiesburg.
Throughout the month of February, the Museum will host a temporary exhibit highlighting the conflict, as well as, special programming every Saturday at 11am.
Saturday, February 2 – Dr. Andrew Wiest, Professor and Director of International Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi, will speak on the advancement of technology during the Gulf War and how it evolved from previous wars.
Saturday, February 9 – SPC Phillip Weary will speak on his military experience during the Gulf War. SFC Weary served in the U.S. Army from 1987-1994 and received the Army Commendation Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals and other military medals and accolades.
Saturday, February 16 – The African American Military History Museum will show Colin Powell: A Soldier’s Campaign, a documentary on the life and service of African American Gulf War figure and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell.
Saturday, February 23 – SFC Jimmie Drummond will speak on his military experience during the Gulf War-era. SFC Drummond served 10 years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force and 19 years in the Army Reserve. Throughout his military career, he received The Presidential Unit Citation, the Air Force Longevity Service Award, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal and other military medals and accolades.
For more information on the Black History Month Program or the Museum’s Black History Month events, contact the Museum at 601.450.1942.
The USO Club opened on March 22, 1942 and was constructed by community volunteers who invested more than 40,000 hours in the project. It is currently the only surviving USO built exclusively for African American soldiers and in 2003 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 150 years of African American military history is on display in the Museum.
The African American Military History Museum is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility. Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing, operating and promoting tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area. For more information, visit www.HattiesburgUSO.com.