‘Camp Grant: The Black Soldier’ at Ethnic Heritage Museum through Nov. 28

From press release

With Veterans Day approaching Nov. 11, the Ethnic Heritage Museum salutes the brave men and women who served at Camp Grant during World War I. The soldiers at Camp Grant played an important role in that war and made significant contributions to African-American life both here and nationally. “Camp Grant: The Black Soldier” will explore some of those contributions.

This exhibit spotlights the careers of several black soldiers, including Col. Charles Young, born of slaves to become the nation’s the first black colonel, and local hero Van Horton, of the Jefferson-Horton Post. It showcases the nation’s first Red Cross African-American nurses who served at Camp Grant during the influenza epidemic. See how Booker Washington Community Center was started.

“Camp Grant: The Black Soldier” displays authentic WWI uniforms, photos, documents and other memorabilia actually used at Camp Grant during the war.

Items on loan for this exhibit are courtesy of Midway Village & Museum Center and part of the Camp Grant collection of Gregory S. Jacobs of Mundelein, Ill. Ethnic Heritage Museum is grateful to Jean Lythgoe of the Rockford Public Library; Margie Mullins, Winnebago County Clerk; the staff at Veterans’ Memorial Hall; and the staff at President Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Ill., for their assistance with this exhibit.

The Ethnic Heritage Museum at 1129 S. Main St. is unique in its blend of ethnic groups—African-American, Polish, Italian, Lithuanian, Irish and Hispanic. A visit to each gallery will enlighten visitors of the values and traditions of each of these groups.

The “Camp Grant: the Black Soldier” exhibit will be on display every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. until Nov. 28. Admission is free to members, and “free will” donations for non-members are appreciated.

“Camp Grant: The Black Soldier” is an excellent exhibit for students of every age. Group tours can be arranged by contacting the museum at (815) 962-7402 or e-mailing ehm1129@comcast.net. The museum is handicap accessible. For more information, visit ethnicheritagemuseum.org.

From the Nov. 10-16, 2010 issue

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