5th Annual Civil War Spring Drill and a Public Conversation with an Iwo Jima Survivor

For many Hoosiers the Indiana State Museum is the go to place for hands on information, activities and events about United States and Indianapolis history. On Saturday, March 27, 2010, the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis downtown features two Indianapolis events about the Civil War and World War II. Seeking to illuminate and learn from our collective past, the Indiana State Museum presents their 5th Annual Civil War Spring Drill. Also, for a hard look at the horrors of war, the Indiana State Museum hosts a Public Conversation with an Iwo Jima Survivor. Both are included in the price of general admission to this Indianapolis museum.

5th Annual Civil War Drill

The 1st Infantry of the 35th Indiana Volunteers is a local Civil War re-enactment group. These dedicated amateur historians accurately recreated civilian and military life during the Civil War as they give a public presentation of an Infantry Drill on the front lawn of the Indiana State Museum. Watch as troops practice their paces and join in the exercise yourself as you step onto the battlefield. Inside the Indiana State Museum in the Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall, these troops will share aspects of their daily lives as civilian soldiers during the Civil War. Hear them talk about medical practices of the era and the challenges of being a soldier’s wife.

Civil War reenactment has come to be an important part of American history. To forget the tragedy that occurred when our fair nation was torn in two would be a travesty. But did you know that Civil War reenacting began even before the American Civil War was over? Veterans of the Civil War recreated battles as a way to remember their fallen brothers and to teach their communities about the reality of the war.

Modern reenacting began in the early 1960s, during the centennial commemoration of the Civil War. It gained popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s, after nearly 6,000 reenactors attended the 125th Anniversary reenactment near the original Manassas battlefield. At one point Time magazine estimated that their are more than 50,000 Civil War reenactors in the United States.

This Indianapolis event pairs well with current exhibits at the Indiana State Museum focusing on Abraham Lincoln: With Malice Toward None and With Charity For All. Learn about the life, decisions and leadership of our 16th President, then see up close the mechanics of the Civil War he fought so hard to end. Don’t miss the 5th Annual Civil War Drill at the Indiana State Museum this Saturday, March 27 from noon to 3:00 pm.

A Public Conversation with an Iwo Jima Survivor

The Indiana State Museum features information about a much later war fought for very different reasons: World War II. After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States boldly entered into fighting in both European and Pacific arenas of the war. The Battle of Iwo Jima was the first American attack on Japanese soil and is remembered as one of the most difficult bouts of fighting to occur in the Pacific Campaign of World War II.

Thought Japanese forces had heavily fortified their positions, the Americans were supported by extensive naval and air support, allowing them to put enormous pressure and firepower onto Japanese positions. Of the 18,000 Japanese soldiers involved in the battle, 216 were taken as prisoners of war; the rest were killed, missing or assumed dead. Both sides suffered tremendous casualties, but the Japanese were almost assuredly doomed from the start.

Not only did the Americans outweigh them in terms of sheer arms and numbers, but the Japanese had no path of retreat. They were forced to hold their ground until the Americans had almost completely decimated their forces. The battle’s outcome gave us the iconic photograph of five Marines raising a flag on Mount Suribachi, which has come to stand as a symbol of American military superiority.

Marion “Frank” Walker,” of Brownstown, Indiana, is one of the last living survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima. His stunning presentation about his experience as a Marine will shed new light on the nature of war. Learn about the infamous flag raising from a man who saw it first hand. Not a story for the faint of heart or weak stomached, Iwo Jima is remembered as one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

Don’t miss this important Indianapolis culture event Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm. Admission is included in the price of tickets to the Indiana State Museum.

This Saturday at the Indiana State Museum, war and history buffs will find themselves in heaven. Head to Indianapolis downtown to take advantage of these incredible events. Afterward take a walk along the Indianapolis Canal Walk and White River State Park as your marvel at dozens of Indianapolis attractions. With prime Indianapolis real estate, the Indiana State Museum is near between the Eiteljorg Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions and other fun things to do in Indianapolis.

5th Annual Civil War Spring Drill
Saturday, March 27, 2010 at Noon

A Public Conversation with an Iwo Jima Survivor
Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Indiana State Museum
650 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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