The American Millennium Project has chosen the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum as one of the 7 wonders of Ouachita Parish. Their mission is to teach the local history and culture to local people through a system of ‘tour teaching’. We have chosen 7 exhibits to be the highlights of the museum. These exhibits are some of the most interesting and popular at the museum. Can you find all of them?
1. Terracotta Soldiers The Qin Dynasty Terracotta Army, also known as the terracotta soldiers, were created around 210-209 BCE, over 2000 years ago. They depicted the army of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. The statues were buried with the emperor to protect him in the afterlife, and includes 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses.
2. Robe of the Emperor This robe was a gift given by the people of China to General Claire Chennault for his services during WWII. It is believed to be worn by the last emperor of China that was deposed in 1911. The dragons with 5 claws on the robe represent the dignity of the emperor and showed that the robe was to be worn by no one else. The hand-woven robe also offers many more objects of symbolism.
3. Chennault AnimatronicStanding near the entrance to the Chennault Room, General Chennault offers a brief overview of his story and the room. He tells about how he dreamed of being a pilot and how that led him to the military. After he retired, he went to China, and with the help of other volunteers, he banded with the Chinese to protect China from Japan during WWII.
4. Selman Field DioramaThis Diorama shows the largest navigation school in the U.S. located in Monroe during WWII. The school trained navigators, bombers, and civilian pilots. It was home to the people training here with a theater, church, barracks, school, and hanger. The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum is one of the last standing buildings from WWII. There were over 15,000 graduates.
5. Space Pioneers ExhibitThis exhibit focuses on the earlier space missions and pilots including local pioneers. This exhibit also inhabits two examples of moon rocks the astronauts brought back from their mission. It would take 2 million dollars to bring back one ounce of lunar rock. The US space missions brought back 842 pounds of rock from 1969 - 1972.
6. “Uncle” Si RobertsonKnown as the uncle from popular tv show ‘Duck Dynasty’, Robertson served the United States Military for 25 years. He was drafted in 1968 and fought in the Vietnam War for one year. He was discharged in 1971, but reenlisted in 1972 and retired in 1993. He still uses the tupperware that his mother sent him while in Vietnam.
7. Flag of HonorLocated in the museum is the Flag of Honor. This flag is made from the names of people who died in the terrorist attack on 9/11. It has 2,977 names that make up the stripes on the flag. It is a memorial so that we never forget what happened on that tragic day.