PHOENIX – The Arizona Capitol Museum will commemorate the 79th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day with the release of a new USS Arizona online exhibit featuring a virtual tour chronicling the story of the battleship and the silver service used aboard for special occasions.
“It’s so important to reflect on the events that led to World War II and its impact on our state and nation. This tour will be available to viewers of all ages and particularly useful in middle and high school classrooms,” said Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
During 1916 and 1917, citizens across Arizona raised funds to provide a silver service for the new battleship Arizona. Made of copper and silver, the silver service was used aboard the USS Arizona from 1919 until it was removed by the US Navy in preparation for World War II. Following the war, the service was used on the light cruiser Tucson and later the Adirondack. Then US Senator Ernest McFarland and Governor John Howard Pyle requested its return to Arizona. As per Naval policy, the silver service was returned to Arizona in 1953, and in 1992, it was officially transferred to the Arizona Capitol Museum where it is on permanent display.
The video is a component of the museum’s Virtual Field Trip Program offered to Arizona’s k-12 students. It will be available on the museum’s website on December 7, 2020: www.azlibrary.gov/azcm/ussarizona
Additional videos and artifacts from the Capitol Museum’s USS Arizona Collection will be featured on the museum’s social media pages. Some of the highlighted artifacts include relics salvaged from the ship’s wreckage, medals earned by various members of the ship’s crew, and personal belongings donated by retired Lt. Cmdr. Louis A. Conter, one of the two USS Arizona survivors still living.
“We’re excited to offer these virtual resources in lieu of our usual on-site Pearl Harbor Day activities,” said Senior Museum Administrator Stephanie Mahan.
The Wesley Bolin Plaza is home to several memorials honoring the USS Arizona, including the signal mast and one of two anchors used on the ship. The “Guns to Salute the Fallen” Memorial features a gun barrel from the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri, serving as two visible bookends to the beginning and end of World War II. Between the gun barrels, steel pillars in the shape of a battleship hull honor the 1,902 Arizona men and women from the various military branches who died in World War II. The public is welcome to visit the memorials in the plaza.
The Arizona Capitol Museum is temporarily closed to the public in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Maricopa County. Please check www.azlibrary.gov/azcm for more information on the museum’s virtual programming and gift shop.
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