Kentucky Historical Society
Kentucky Military Treasures Exhibition to open on Veterans Day
FRANKFORT, KY — (November 3, 2009) — A new exhibition showcasing Kentucky’s military treasures will open on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort.
“Kentucky Military Treasures: Selections from the Kentucky Historical Society Collections” tells the stories of Kentuckians who fought in battles spanning nearly 200 years and includes significant artifacts from conflicts ranging from the War of 1812 to more recent engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Featured are the stories of Kentuckians such as Richard M. Johnson, who led his regiment of Kentucky Mounted Rifles to victory in the Battle of Thames. Or the story of William Horsfall, a young man from Newport, Ky. who was seeking adventure when he stowed away on a steamer and became a drummer and later a private in Company G, First Kentucky Infantry Regiment, U.S.A. Horsfall distinguished himself at the battle of Corinth, Miss. in 1862 and –to this day --remains the youngest Kentuckian ever to have earned the Medal of Honor.
The USS Kentucky, which was commissioned in 1898 and later became a member of the Great White Fleet is also featured. Visitors to the exhibition can see artifacts from the vessel, including a silver pitcher, a bell that adorned the ship and a painting that depicts the USS Kentucky at sea.
Other stories include those of John H. Rodman, an Owensboro native and veteran of World War II; Chadwick Burns, a Frankfort High School graduate who was killed in action in Korea; Martha and Marcus Davis, a brother and sister from Harlan County who both served their country in the military; and Lexington resident Franketta Zalaznik, who retired from the military in 2002.
Artifacts include an Appalachian rifle; the Burgoyne canon; swords; saddles; bugles; military uniforms; numerous varieties of guns, including machine guns and anti-aircraft guns; medals; gas masks; a jeep and sea bags. The exhibition also includes both video and audio features.
“Kentucky Military Treasures” returns selections from the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) collections to public view. Many of the artifacts have been in storage while renovations were underway at the Kentucky Military History Museum, one of the museums on the KHS history campus.
“’Kentucky Military Treasures’ does contain many fascinating artifacts,” said Marilyn Zoidis, assistant director of KHS. “But the real treasures are more than things of the past. The true treasures are the stories behind them and that’s what we want visitors to experience—the compelling stories of these brave Kentuckians.”
The exhibition is on display in the Keeneland Changing Exhibits Gallery at the Center for Kentucky History. It was made possible by generous support from the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation, Martin F. Schmidt, Tawani Foundation and the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs.
The Center for Kentucky History – headquarters of KHS -- is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on visiting, see www.history.ky.gov.
An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, the Kentucky Military History Museum, and its headquarters, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.