FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2009
Contact: Jennifer M. Guild, Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing
Tel: (804) 342-9665 | Email:
The Price is Right
The Virginia Historical Society Offers Free Admission for Everyone This Summer
Richmond, VA—The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has always been a good value: being free to children under 18 daily, being free to everyone on Sundays, offering discounts to seniors and students, and costing only $5 for an adult admission. But this summer, the VHS will offer visitors even more bang for their buck. As a matter of fact, visitors will not even have to spend a buck.
Beginning June 6th and running through August 30th, the VHS will be free for all visitors every day the museum is open to the public.
"We understand that families are paying very close attention to what they spend their money on right now and that many of them are going to forgo out-of-state vacations this summer to cut costs," said Paul A. Levengood, President and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society. "We want to give back to the community by giving people somewhere to go that is enjoyable, educational, and entertaining as well as close to home and affordable."
From June 6th to August 30th, while open to the public at no charge, the VHS will display three exhibitions about the Vietnam era. The society is offering complimentary admission as a way to honor military personnel who served in the Vietnam War and their families.
Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era explores the issues, actions, reactions, and expressions of life and culture of African Americans as they were affected by the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. Over 160 artifacts, photographs, audio recordings, songs, oral histories, and an original documentary on display in this award-winning exhibition show how events in the 1960s helped frame African American political and social perspectives that extended beyond civil rights. The roles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Colin Powell, Jimi Hendrix, and many others are explored, as well as the 9,000 women who served as nurses and in clerical and support positions during the war. Soul Soldiers was organized by the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam features a cache of Vietnam War soldier art of striking importance and poignancy. Soldiers and Marines on the ship USNS General Nelson M. Walker, bound for Vietnam in 1967, inscribed graffiti phrases and images on the bottom sides of canvas bunks in the troop compartments. Men wrote their name and hometown, the date they expected to leave the service, and kept day-by-day calendars to mark the progress of the voyage. Original graffiti-covered canvases—discovered in the process of scrapping the vessel in 2005—display messages of patriotism, politics, humor, anxiety, and love. Marking Time was organized by the Vietnam Graffiti Project in Keswick, Va.
Bring Paul Home: Phyllis Galanti and Vietnam War POWs is based on the collection given to the Virginia Historical Society by Richmond resident Phyllis Galanti. Her husband, Paul, was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy when his plane was shot down over Vietnam on June 17, 1966. Mr. Galanti was a Prisoner of War (POW) until February 12, 1973. Pictures, letters, pamphlets, buttons, and posters from the donated collection show Mrs. Galanti's efforts, and those of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, to publicize the plight of their loved ones and to secure their release.
"I think these exhibitions will be of interest to visitors, especially those who lived through the 1960s and 1970s, because they will be able to personally relate to the topics covered in all three shows," Levengood said. "It is the perfect opportunity for parents and grandparents to bring their children and grandchildren to learn about events that had a huge impact on American society, politics, and culture—and they can see it all for free!"
The Virginia Historical Society is located at 428 N. Boulevard. The Story of Virginia, An American Experience, a 10,000-square-foot exhibition with more than a thousand objects covering all of Virginia history from prehistoric
times to the present is featured in the Robins Center for Virginia History. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm
and Sunday 1 pm–5pm (Museum Galleries and Shop only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+ ($2/Tuesdays–galleries
only), $3/children and students, free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour
information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.