The Museum's superb military collections document the history of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States. The collections include ordnance, firearms, and swords; uniforms and insignia; national and military flags and banners; and many other objects.
The strength of the collections lies in their enormous depth. Some 3,000 military small arms and 2,400 civilian firearms document the mechanical and technological history of the infantryman's weapons from the beginning of the gunpowder era to the present. Among the 4,000 swords and knives in the collection are many spectacular presentation pieces. The collections also include Civil War era telegraph equipment, home front artifacts from both world wars, early computers such as ENIAC, Whirlwind, and Sage, and materials carried at antiwar demonstrations.
"Military - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Mexican Americans have served in U.S. armed forces since the Civil War. But it was the generation of Mexican Americans returning from World War II who mobilized their communities and changed the political landscape of the West. Laying the groundwork for the Chicano movement of the 1960s, organizations like the American G.I. Forum began advocating on behalf of Hispanic veterans who were denied the educational, health care, housing, and other rights guaranteed by the G.I. Bill. Often working in concert with the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and other Latino civil rights organizations, the Texas-based G.I. Forum soon engaged in broader social battles over school desegregation and voter registration rights. Today, the G.I. Forum is a nationally recognized source of scholarships among Mexican American students. This paño, titled Valor, the Spanish word for courage, commemorates the Korean War Medal of Honor winner Rodolfo Hernández. Paños are an art form created traditionally by Chicano prisoners on white handkerchiefs. Often mailed as gifts to friends and families, the images on paños remember loved ones, depict important memories, and tell stories about the dark side of life, as well as redemption. The maker of this paño is unknown.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- Hernandez, Rudy
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center