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History Channel provides Armor Museum being built at Old Bethpage Village Restoration a $20,000 grant to create
“Bulletin! The story of America’s War Correspondents”
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano today announced that the Museum of American Armor now under construction at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage, is the recipient a $20,000 “Save our History” grant from History for the purpose of creating a permanent exhibit entitled “Bulletin! The Story of America’s War Correspondents.”
County Executive Mangano stated, “We are extremely grateful for this award from History which will allow the museum to tell the story of men and women under fire armed with little more than a typewriter, recorder or camera for the purpose of covering American courage in the defense of freedom.”
Dr. Libby O’Connell, Chief Historian and a senior vice president at History explained, “Not only were we impressed that this exhibit will be within the context of a museum filled with operational American armor of World War II, but this permanent display will include profile pieces on the pioneering women journalists of that era who sought to cover the conflict. These women had to fight just for the opportunity to wear the patch `war correspondent’ on their uniforms and to get their stories into the paper.”
Co-curator for the effort, Julia Lauria-Blum observed, “Most know the name Edward R. Murrow but very few know Dickey Chapelle, a woman photographer who managed to get to bloody Okinawa only to be told by a Marine general that she had no business being on the island. She stared him down and did her job.”
The Museum of American Armor has quickly grown to become one of the most important armor collections on public display in the Northeast. Lawrence Kadish, founding Chairman of the Museum of American Armor, is providing a gift of $1,000,000 towards the creation of the museum and the New York State Economic Development Corporation has just matched that gift with a $1,000,000 grant that underscores its economic contribution to heritage tourism in the state.
Kadish reminds, “Our goal is to bring the sights and sounds of American history to a new generation, and thereby pay tribute to those who continue to defend us during this ongoing War on Terror and those who have heroically defended our freedoms over the many decades.”
The arrival of the Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Village Restoration will enable a joint marketing program with the nearby American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport and Nassau County’s Cradle of Aviation Museum at Mitchel Field, Garden City.
Plans call for the construction of a 25,000 square foot facility on the grounds of the Village. Operational vehicles that will be on public display include the iconic Sherman tank, a Stuart light tank used extensively by the Marines during their Pacific campaigns, a potent 155 mm howitzer, reconnaissance vehicles that acted as armored scouts for American forces, anti-aircraft guns and similar weapons that broke the back of the Axis powers during World War II. Other vehicles range from a classic LaSalle staff car in the markings of a Fleet Admiral to jeeps, weapons carriers and half-tracks.
Special operational weekends are planned, during which World War II living historians will mount joint operations with the armor and take to the fields of Old Bethpage Village Restoration to demonstrate how these weapons were deployed. At other times, the armor will be displayed on the ramp at the American Airpower Museum or at parades and special events throughout the bi-county area.
In addition, tributes will be created to the American service men and women who have served in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan and the War on Terror so that the museum is able to fulfill its mission of honoring America’s defense of freedom throughout the decades.