• Tuskegee Airmen exhibit opens at Sumter County Museum

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    Jan 15 2021 Tuskegee Airmen exhibit Sumter County Museum 1

    A legendary group of African-American aviators will be celebrated in a traveling exhibit at the Sumter County Museum.

    “The Tuskegee Airmen: The Segregated Skies of World War II,” will be on display at the museum from Jan. 21 to March 27, 2021.

    Sumter County Museum Executive Director Annie Rivers said the exhibit in McKenzie Hall has been brought to Sumter courtesy of Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education. She became familiar with the university when the museum was in the process of bringing Temple Sinai Jewish History Center into their fold.

    “I saw the traveling exhibits and there’s a focus on World War II history,” she said, “and thought it would be great to come here.”

    With the recent unveiling of the Sumter Veterans Park, which will feature a replica P-51 Mustang and honors the Tuskegee Airmen, Rivers said it was a natural fit to have the exhibit here.

    Also opening on Jan. 21 is “The Tragedy of St. Louis,” an exhibit at Temple Sinai Jewish History Center which tells the story of Jewish refugees who fled Germany in 1939 but were refused entry into Cuba.

    Rivers said that exhibit is also in place courtesy of Kennesaw State University and a grant from the Atlanta-based Breman Foundation and will be here until March 27.

    The Sumter County Museum’s website is getting a makeover, she said, thanks to Education and Visitor Services Manager Amanda Cox.

    “We’re just about ready to unveil the full website,” Rivers said. “We’re excited to be able to do more with it.”

    She also teamed with Cox to create several panels on display dedicated to showcasing our local Tuskegee Airmen – Willie L. Ashley Jr., Leroy Bowman, James P. Rembert and Emmett J. Rice. Also featured are a panel about James E. Randall, who was later stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, and a panel about the new Veterans Park.

    The Sumter County Museum is located at 122 N. Washington St. and is open Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (803) 775-0908

    Temple Sinai Jewish History Center is located at 11 Church St. and is open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (803) 775-0908

    Jan 15 2021 Tuskegee Airmen exhibit Sumter County Museum 2