Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum and the Black History Month Committee presents: “Capturing American History; The Unique Perspective of the African-American Service Member.” After ten years of bringing historic World War II African American veterans to the Rockford area, we are reinventing our program to present the unique experience that African Americans had while serving in the United States Military. Our guests will include several veterans who have been interviewed by student members of the Harlem Veteran Project. These video interviews will be presented to the Library of Congress for historical and educational purposes. The program will also include special presentations honoring The Jefferson-Horton American Legion Post 340 and The Booker Washington Center. A live video interview session will also be conducted.
In spite of adversity and limited opportunities, African Americans have played a significant role in U.S. military history over the past 300 years. They were denied military leadership roles and skilled training because many believed they lacked qualifications for combat duty. On June 25th 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 8802 establishing the fair employment practice that began to erase discrimination in the Armed Forces. This executive order gave African Americans an opportunity to serve their county as equals. Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum is honored to present these patriotic Veterans to Rockford community in celebration of Black History Month.
Doors open at 12:30 p.m. with the opening ceremony scheduled for 1:00 p.m.. The event will conclude at 4:00 p.m. with an autograph session in our library.
Directions: Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum - 211 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61101 - From I-90 and E. State St. (US Business 20): west 6.5 miles on Business 20, which becomes one-way as Jefferson St., to Wyman (first street after the bridge over Rock River). Turn left (south) on Wyman to Mulberry. From I-39: west on US 20 Bypass to IL 2 (S. Main). Go north on IL 2 to the downtown area. Park in lots at Wyman and Mulberry or along the Rock River behind the Rockford Public Library across Wyman. Entrances to Memorial Hall are on Wyman and on N. Main. Free parking in the lot on the south side at Mulberry and Wyman.