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USM History Class Students to Tour the African American Military History Museum


On Tuesday, September 19th, USM Professor Dr. John C. Winters’ Public History class toured and visited Hattiesburg’s African American Military History Museum, in the Sixth Street Museum District.
Winters’ class visited the museum to survey the permanent exhibition at the African American Military History Museum and construct a mock exhibition proposal for the forthcoming Moeller Museum, which will be later presented to the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.
Each of Winters’ students will write an exhibition review letter in which they will give insight into their own individual museum experience to later present a proposal letter to the new Moeller African American Military History Museum.
“This is part of a much broader effort in the history program to introduce students to the public and apply history, which varies from museums, libraries, national parks, and more,” Winters said. “So, students can apply their public research and training to influence and change their communities for the better based on historical research. The University of Southern Mississippi History program provides an opportunity for the Museum District to engage the next generation and it gives these students the opportunity to unite with the community and gain practical skills and knowledge of the significant role museums play in public history and cultural education.”
Winters also took his students to the museum in hopes it would be an educational experience for students of all races and colors.
“I hope students take away the extreme importance of African Americans in military and service history in the United States,” Winters said. “Along with what it means to see public history in person and properly interpret it while expansively and critically analyzing why museums and institutions have much importance within the community and connect with the community they serve.”
Latoya Norman, the Director of the African American Military History Museum, feels overjoyed to house the Moeller collection.
“The community is honored that Dr. Moeller chose us to accommodate and appropriately display his collection,” Norman said.
The Moeller Museum will offer visitors a unique glimpse at the role and expansion of vehicles used to help our service men and women in the heat of battle. The Moeller Museum is currently in its construction state, with an anticipated opening in 2025. The Moeller Museum will hold eleven military vehicles that were operated during wars and military action from World War II through Desert Storm. Dr. Donald R. Moeller, Lt. Colonel, US Army, Retired, preferred the African American Military History Museum as the home for his collection display after expansive research.
Moeller was enthused with how the museum recounts the stories of African American service men and women through interactive exhibitions that the museum is deliberate about appealing to the five senses: sight, sound, touch, feel, and smell.

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