New York State Military Museum weekend program schedule set for February to April

Programs will deal with Soldier shows, World War I, the Vietnam War, and a special showing of "The Fighting 69th" , a movie about a New York National Guard unit in World War I.

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Soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Division pose in their gas masks in 1918.

SARATOGA SPRING, N.Y. (01/13/2018) (readMedia)-- The New York State Military Museum will host programs that commemorate the nation's centennial of combat operations in World War I and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, along with topics of local interest this winter and spring.

The weekend programs generally begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday and are free to the public. They are sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Military Museum and the Friends of the Saratoga Battlefield.

The programs for winter and spring 2018 are:

• February 10, 2 pm - Poets, Politics and Poison Gas: The 42nd Rainbow Division Attacks - Military history and author Pat Chaisson examines the origins of the U.S. Army's 42nd "Rainbow" Division and its combat service in France during World War I, focusing on the Aisne-Marne Offensive of July-August, 1918, and some of the unit's most notable characters such as poet Joyce Kilmer and future five-star general Douglas MacArthur.

• February 17, 2 pm - We Were There: Adirondack Survivors of Iwo Jima - Adirondack doctor Daniel Way, author of We Were There: World War II Stories from the Adirondacks' Greatest Generation, recounts fascinating stories from some of his patients-World War II Marine veterans who served at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

• March 3, 2 pm –The Fighting Sixty-Ninth film screening - A special screening of the 1940 classic film starring James Cagney based on the World War I exploits of New York's famous 69th Infantry Regiment. Regimental Historian Bert Cunningham will provide an introduction and WWI artifacts related to the 69th, its commander, Lt. Col. William "Wild Bill" Donovan, and its regimental chaplain, Father Francis Duffy, will be on display.

• March 10, 2 pm - Vietnam Reconsidered - A panel of Vietnam War veterans present a lively discussion of their wartime experiences and their reactions to Ken Burns' monumental PBS series, "The Vietnam War."

• March 17, 2 pm - Hidden in Plain Sight: Seals and Symbols of our Military History in New York - Local author, collector and expert on municipal seals and logos, Marvin Bubie identifies and explains references to New York's military heritage in many of the county, city, and town seals throughout the state.

• March 24, 2 pm - New York's Own Soldier Shows during World War I - Retired librarian and historical researcher David Fiske offers an entertaining look at the variety shows produced by soldiers of the 27th Infantry Division, New York's Own, both at home and overseas during the war.

• April 7, 2 pm - The Art of War: The Works of Civil War Sketch Artist Theodore Davis - Historian and author Bill Howard explores the life and works of Theodore Davis, an artist who illustrated the Civil War for the newspaper Harper's Weekly. Although lesser known than his counterpart Winslow Homer, Davis was one of the most prolific artists to appear in the pages of Harper's and perhaps experienced firsthand the totality of the war more than any other person, from Charleston and the firing on Fort Sumter, to McClellan's Peninsula Campaign, and then on with Sherman's men on their famous march to the sea.

The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center is housed in the historic New York State Armory in Saratoga Springs. The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State's military forces and veterans. The collection is divided into the museum and the library/archives holdings.

The museum has permanent exhibits telling the story of New York's men and women in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Revolutionary War and as members of the state militia in the 19th Century. The museum has more than 10,000 artifacts ranging from the Revolutionary War to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The New York State Military Museum is also responsible for the historical exhibits and artifacts at New York's Army National Guard armories. These artifacts and displays, which include historic armored vehicles once used by the Guard, connect current Army National Guard Soldiers with those who served in the past.