SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - From GI Joe to genealogy, the New York State Military Museum has a wide-range of free programs set for January, February and March.
Most programs are free and at 2 p.m. Saturdays.
The Saturday afternoon talks are sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Military Museum, a not-for-profit group which helps support museum exhibits.
"This new educational series is a great opportunity for the Military Museum to explore a wide variety of historical topics related to New York's military history through interesting and informative guest speakers." said Museum Director Courtney Burns. "Our goal is to reach a larger audience and give people a reason to visit the museum again and again."
The programs all feature experts in their field speaking about fascinating military history subjects.
The events are:
January 18: The Confederate Navy's Secret Weapons.
Underwater archaeologist, Joseph Zarzynski, will give an illustrated lecture on two of the Confederacy's most secretive and feared super weapons--the submarine H.L. Hunley and the semi-submersible torpedo boat, the CSS David.
The rebel sub Hunley was lost on February 17, 1864, shortly after sinking the Union warship, the USS Housatonic. This made the Hunley the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
The 40 ft. submarine was found in 1995 by remote sensing. In 2000, the submarine was raised and it is being studied and conserved in N. Charleston, SC. Thus, the Hunley's many secrets are gradually being uncovered by archaeologists.
February 8: GI Joe Day – Celebrating 50 Years of an American Icon
GI Joe, the classic action figure, turns 50 this year and area GI Joe enthusiasts from throughout the Capital region will display their collections throughout the day. At 1:00pm, Tearle Ashby, whose collection is featured in our current "Toys & Tanks" exhibit, will discuss the interesting history of GI Joe, including a presentation of rare early advertising and marketing images.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
February 8: Genealogy Workshop
Tara Fantauzzi, a professional genealogist and founder of Capitol Genealogy will offer free individual guidance on how to develop a comprehensive research plan to reveal more about family histories.
While this event is free reservations are required in advance for the sessions. Call 518-581-5100 to sign up.
February 15: The Role of the United States Colored Troops in the African American Freedom Journey
Harry Bradshaw Matthews, associate dean at Hartwick College in Oneonta and founder of the United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research will discuss the history and serve of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. These were African-American units recruited by the federal government when state governments didn't want to raise all-black units like the 54th Massachusetts made famous in the movie "Glory". More than 4,000 New Yorkers served in the United States Colored Troops.
The free program begins at 2 p.m.
March 8 : "The Fighting 69th -- From Ground Zero to Baghdad"
New York Army National Guard Major Sean Michael Flynn, author of the "Fighting 69th" tells the story of the New York City National Guard units serving on 9/11 and in Baghdad four years later. Flynn, who served with the unit, chronicles the extraordinary transformation of this band of amateur soldiers into a battle- hardened troop at one of the most lethal sites of war.
The free program begins at 2 p.m.
March 15: "Stories from the Sandbox – New York National Guardswomen in the Global War on Terror"
LTC (ret) Paul Fanning, a former New York Army National Guard officer, will lead a panel discussion with women who served with New York National Guard units in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The free program beings at 2 p.m.
March 22 : "The Missile Boats"
Ray Misiewicz, an engineer who developed nuclear propulsion systems for the Navy, discusses the development of nuclear submarine carried missile systems.
The development of sea based missiles and the submarines that launch them are chronicled in this talk. Starting at the very beginning of missile and submarine technology, we'll wind up on a tour of our current Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines.
Questions to be answered include: How do you live and work aboard a nuclear ballistic missile submarine? How do you launch a missile from a submerged submarine? He will also discuss how these boats are being adapted to accommodate the very first female nuclear submariners aboard. The talk is dedicated to all the submariners who served aboard the "Boomers" and what their future might be like.
The free discussion begins at 2 p.m.
March 28 – "Night at the Brewseum"
Sample a wide selection of the finest craft beers around along with food from local restaurants and caterers at the third annual "Night at the Brewseum." This is a fundraiser sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Military Museum .and Saratoga Springs Lions Club.
Tickets by calling the Museum Gift Shop at 518-226-0490.