Summer Projects

Posted on
USS President Adams, ca 1942
USS President Adams, ca 1942

As summer quickly begins to approach, I’m reminded of a project we had a couple of (awesome) volunteers, Brian and Chris, do last year.  This project involved our two smokestack eagles from the American President Lines.  These eagles never made it onto the smokestack they were intended for as the ship was requisitioned by the Navy prior to its completion, due to WW II.  The ship in question was likely the second President Adams, who began her war service in December 1941.

USS President Adams (AP-38, later APA-19) was built at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia from 1940-1941.  She was originally intended to be a civilian passenger-cargo-ship, but was refitted for military service after being taken by the Navy in June 1941.  On December 25, 1941, shortly after the United States entered WW II, her first encounter with the enemy was with a German submarine where she sustained no damage.  In July of the next year, President Adams was sent to the South Pacific where she took part in the effort to hold Guadalcanal until February 1943.  The rest of 1943 and part of 1944 were spent chasing the Japanese up the Solomon Islands.  After February of 1945, she spent the rest of her time in the Pacific bringing home veterans, which lasted until March 1947.  President Adams was decommissioned in June of 1950 and scrapped in Taiwan in 1974.  For more information about her career, click HERE.   Read more

Choosing One Out of Many Thousands

Posted on
q299

How do you pick a  favorite artifact when our collection contains over 30,000 of them?   For me, it was love at first sight.   Or maybe it was awe at first glance.

When I arrived at the museum over 8 years ago, one of the first projects I worked on was a complete inventory of the collection.    I had the joy of opening all the boxes, folders, drawers, cabinets, mysterious rolled objects, and so much more.   And each time, there was something amazing, beautiful, unique, compelling, ordinary or strange to see.   Read more

Object of the Month- Pvt. Joe Louis

Posted on
Pvt. Joe Louis Poster from World War II.
Pvt. Joe Louis Poster from World War II.

In honor of Black History Month, we thought it would be appropriate to share an artifact with a strong African American hero.  This poster from World War II shows Joe Louis and his motivation words, a concept that became a household idea for Americans during this time.

“… and we’ll win because we’re on God’s side,” became an important slogan during World War II. Pvt. Joe Lewis, a well known African American boxer, made this phrase a household thing during this time. During the Second World War, this poster was seen throughout the country and Pvt. Louis’ statement inspired other young men to join and support the fight, which made his a very popular advocate for American pride.   Read more