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Arkansas has an incredible military history, much of which is unknown by many. The Jacksonville Museum of Military History exists to educate the public through various military history exhibits and is an incredible treasure.
We’ve driven through Jacksonville hundreds of times over the years. We’ve been to the splash zone, the annual train show at the community center, checked out the C-130s, and we used to eat at an incredible, but now closed, Thai restaurant that was introduced to us by a friend from Thailand. Yet somehow, we had never visited the military museum. We didn’t even know it was there until a few weeks ago when we drove by and noticed the F-105 Thunderchief displayed outside.
Boy, were we missing out! The museum consists of a 4,500-square-foot main building with a 10,000-square-foot addition that is partially developed and will be completed soon. Our family, including our five-year-old son, enjoyed viewing all of the museum exhibits.
Whether you are a military history buff, interested in Arkansas history, or simply someone who is looking to expand their knowledge, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History provides a wealth of information. The exhibits are well researched and have mounted placards and a digital component for your smart device.
Artifacts are included from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. Emphasis is placed on war history related to Arkansas, although there are many nationally and globally-significant pieces in the collection. The museum also celebrates the histories of the Little Rock Air Force Base and the Arkansas Air National Guard.
The historical items associated with the Arkansas Ordnance Plant and the Titan II missiles are fascinating because of their association with Arkansas. There is so much military history related to the state that many people are unaware of, and the museum and staff will enlighten you! Some of the things I learned in talking with the staff and museum volunteers shocked me.
The museum honors soldiers who gave their all in several memorial exhibits throughout the museum. Most significant is the Vietnam memorial located just inside the entrance. Each dog tag hanging from the ceiling features the name, hometown and branch of every Arkansan killed in action during the Vietnam Conflict. It’s touching and sobering.
The museum is an incredible collection of military history from Arkansas and beyond. The museum is undergoing renovation, and new exhibits are being added. Visit the museum from 10-5 daily except Sundays and major holidays.
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