HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The African American Military History Museum will be closed for at least one year because of roof damage it suffered from a tornado Feb. 10.
Rick Taylor, executive director of Hattiesburg's Convention and Tourism commissions, which oversee the museum, told The Hattiesburg American roof damage caused damage to the museum. Rainwater soaked many items on display and in the archives.
According to museum manager Latoya Norman, war medals, documents, uniforms, photographs, memorial flags, mannequins and newspaper clippings all got wet.
The museum's exhibits and artifacts were located in the historic USO Club – the only surviving USO built exclusively for African-American soldiers. In 2003, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The items from the museum will be put in storage until the USO Club can be rebuilt, Taylor said.
Rise up and rebuild!
The museum states on its website that it is seeking donations to save the USO.
"As the only surviving USO built exclusively for African American soldiers remaining in the United States, this historic landmark is a place of pride for Hattiesburg," it said. "The African American Military History Museum Committee welcomes your support to help the rebuilding begin."
For details, visit the museum website at http://www.hattiesburguso.com/.