National Museum of the Marine Corps

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National Museum of the Marine Corps
Established 2006
Location 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway
Triangle, Virginia
Type Military History
Visitor figures 500,000
Director Lin Ezell
Public transit access none
Website National Museum of the Marine Corps
Aerial view of the Museum under construction in April 2006

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. It is located in Quantico, Virginia. It is open to the public with free admission. The museum had its grand opening on November 10, 2006. Over 500,000 people visit the museum each year.[1]

The museum is a public-private venture, a cooperative effort of the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. The Foundation manages the museum operation, while the museum building will be donated to the Marine Corps. The Foundation raised $60 million to build the building. The Marine Corps spent $30 million to build the museum's exhibits and displays.[2]

History[change | change source]

On the day the museum opened, President George W. Bush gave a dedication speech and also presented the Medal of Honor to the family of fallen Marine Jason Dunham.

President Bush said, "These walls remind all who visit here that honor, courage, and commitment are not just words. They are core values for a way of life that puts service above self. And these walls will keep the history of the Marine Corps alive for generations of Americans to come."[3]

Curtis W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA of Fentress Architects, designed the museum building. The exterior design is meant to "evoke the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima," an image that is also preserved by the USMC War Memorial. The 210 ft steel spire is like the Iwo Jima flagpole.[4] The 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) museum is a tribute to the U.S. Marines who have served their country since 1775.

The new museum replaces the Marine Corps Historical Center, in the Washington Navy Yard, which closed 1 July 2005, and the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum, in Quantico, Virginia, which closed on 15 November 2002. [5][6]

The museum building was designed for expansion. New galleries can be added around the circular lobby. On June 5, 2010, 12,000 square feet of additional galleries were added. They cost $12 million.[7]

In October 2010, skylights in the museum lobby were shot on two different evenings as a part of the Northern Virginia military shootings. On April 14, 2011, the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park was dedicated. It covers 23.2 acres and includes 1.07 miles of new walking trails.[8]

Marine Corps Heritage Foundation[change | change source]

The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, established in 1979, is a private, non-profit organization which was established in support of historical programs of the Marine Corps. The MCHF programs initially included "education, awards, publications, special projects, preservation...." In 1999, the Foundation expanded its mission to include the creation of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Heritage Center[change | change source]

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is designed to be the centerpiece of a complex of facilities called the Marine Corps Heritage Center.[9] This multi-use, 135-acre (0.55 km2) campus includes the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park and Semper Fidelis Chapel; a demonstration area with parade grounds; hiking trails and other outdoor recreational offerings; a conference center and hotel; and an archive facility to restore and preserve Marine artifacts.

The chapel, designed by Fentress Architects, was completed in 2009 with a donation of $5 million from a retired Marine.[10]

Exhibits[change | change source]

The museum features the following permanent exhibits, which were designed by Christopher Chadbourne and Associates, Inc.:

On 5 June 2010 the following three exhibits were opened.

  • Defending a New Nation - 1775-1865
  • Age of Expansion - 1866-1916
  • World War I - 1917-1918

The historical exhibits including displays of artifacts, multimedia, and full immersion experiences. For example, the exhibit on wintertime in the Korean War is in a room cooled to a lower temperature. The museum building also include class rooms, a theater, a gift shop, bar and a restaurant.

Programs[change | change source]

The museum hosts lectures by historians and military experts. The Marine Corps Band performs a summer concert series. The Arts Mentorship Program has interships for student artists attending the Prince William County schools.[11]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Defense.gov News Article: Marine Corps Museum Attracts Half-million Visitors in 2008". defense.gov. U.S. Department of Defense. 27 January 2009. http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=52826. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  2. "FAQs". usmcmuseum.com. http://www.usmcmuseum.com/faqs.asp. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  3. George W. Bush (November 10, 2006). "President's remarks at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps". The White House. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2006/11/20061110-3.html. Retrieved 2006-11-12.
  4. "Leatherneck Gallery". usmcmuseum.com. http://www.usmcmuseum.com/exhibits_Leatherneck.asp. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  5. "Marine Corps History and Museum Division". Archived from the original on 5 February 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060205100147/http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Home_Page.htm. "MUSEUMS: Visitors and Researchers – Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, DC, Permanently Closed as of 1 July 2005; National Museum of the Marine Corps, MCB, Quantico, VA, Opening in 2006."
  6. "Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum". Archived from the original on 6 August 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070806014544/http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/MCAGM.htm. "Closed Permanently. The Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum aboard Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA is closed permanently as of November the 15th, 2002. This is part of the transition to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, that will be opening in the near future."
  7. "Museum Expansion". usmcmuseum.com. http://www.usmcmuseum.com/Museum_Expansion.asp. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  8. "Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Dedicates Semper Fidelis Memorial Park". usmcmuseum.com. http://www.usmcmuseum.com/news_pressrelease.asp?NewsID=108. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  9. Richard F. Snow "New Museum: One Service's Bid to 'Live Forever,'" American Heritage, Nov./Dec. 2006.
  10. "Worship in the woods". Washington Post. 23 October 2009. pp. B1. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/23/art-chapel-opens-at-marine-corps-museum/.
  11. "National Museum of the Marine Corps : Education". usmcmuseum.com. http://www.usmcmuseum.com/Education_programs.asp. Retrieved 2011-07-24.

Other websites[change | change source]

Coordinates: 38°32′39″N 77°20′36″W / 38.544139°N 77.343361°W / 38.544139; -77.343361