African American Military History Museum Restored From Tornado - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

African American Military History Museum Restored From Tornado

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This time last year, families and crews were busy cleaning up after an EF-4 tornado.

The African American Military History Museum was forced to shut its doors after the storm.

"It  off all of the roof from this portion all they way back to this direction," Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission said as he pointed to where the tornado hit he building.

"We're excited for people to come back in and see the museum again," he said. "The building itself cost about $400,000 in restoration and the museum itself cost about $600,000.

The museum served  as a USO during wartime decades ago for blacks. It's the only building of its kind left in the United States.

"There's only one other building and it's a warehouse in Virginia, this is the only one that the public can come to," Taylor said.

"We didn't want to be closed any longer than we had to," Museum Director Latoya Norman said.

The twister also damaged the room that stored the archives; volunteers and a crew from the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum came and helped salvage the artifacts.

"Our gulf war exhibit was definitely damaged and also our theater," Norman said.

"Without that help, we would have lost and untold amount artifacts," Taylor said. 

 

 

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