,
The holiday season is here and as we close out the year, I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all our supporters - because without you we could not continue to operate. Thank you for becoming or renewing as a member, thank you for holding your monthly meeting or special event here, thank you for your monetary and artifact donations and thank you for thousands of volunteer hours you continue to give. But most of all, thank for continuing to spread the word about YOUR museum so that we may continue to honor the legacy, service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and Wartime Merchant Marines.

We had a full line-up of events in November with many new arts, concerts and exhibits. We also hosted the San Diego County Veteran of the Year Luncheon which was the most attended in history at 290 attendees. I want to give a special THANK YOU to Captain Will Hays,(USN retired) who has served as the Chairman of the VOY committee for almost two decades as he completed his final year and set new records. Without his leadership and guidance we would not have been able to grow this valuable San Diego County program. He will continue to serve in an emeritus role as the new chairman takes the helm.

Into December we have a series of special performances by the American History Theatre. Please join us this month for five performances of "The Odd Couple", a play which is sure to make you laugh and reminisce about the 1970s.

From the staff and volunteers at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park - we wish you a joyous New Year. And to all our deployed troops, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!

Captain Sheldon Margolis 
USN (Retired) 
President and CEO

 
What's going on at your museum? (Museum events or museum partners)
  • Until Dec. 15 - Toys for Tots (drop off location at the museum)
  • Dec. 9: American History Theatre presents "The Odd Couple" play (7 p.m.)
  • Dec. 10: American History Theatre presents "The Odd Couple" play (7 p.m.)
  • Dec. 11: American History Theatre presents "The Odd Couple" play (2 p.m.)
  • Dec. 13: Free Tuesday at the museum for all San Diego County residents - all day
  • Dec. 15: American History Theatre presents "The Odd Couple" play (7 p.m.)
  • Dec. 16: American History Theatre presents "The Odd Couple" play (7 p.m.)
  • Dec. 24: Museum is closed at noon
  • Dec. 25: Museum is closed in observance of Christmas
  • Dec. 31: Museum is closed at noon
  • Jan. 1: Museum is closed in observance of New Year's Day 
  • Save the dates! Jan. 21 and 25: The BentProp Project is back with a special presentation and documentary
This month 
An American Classic, "The Odd Couple", comes to The Veterans Museum! 
Shows Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 15-16

We are proud to partner with local non-profit, American History Theater, for a two-weekend showing of an American classic, "The Odd Couple". Join us Dec. 9-11  and Dec. 15-16 for this American Classic!  The play, by Niel Simon, has seen its time on Broadway, done with males and females in the lead, has been a beloved sitcom in the 70's, been made into a movie and is even seeing a recent television revival! 
 
Part of American History Theater's mission is to bring great theater to great venues and we are proud to host this brand-new organization in a fun stage production about two roommates who ARE NOT compatible. AHT will perform the female version of this play, directed by Taberah Joy Holloway and starring Melissa Malloy and Kathryn Schellinger. The hilarity of this story line never grows old and has continued to entertain audiences in its many forms for decades. 

American History Theatre is a new San Diego-based nonprofit that celebrates history through theater. They also raise awareness around veterans issues with a focus on women veterans in both arenas. Come see what this new organization has to offer in the way of fun and classic entertainment this Holiday Season! 

There are a variety of performances in the evening and on Sunday afternoon. Tickets for the show start at $10 for students, veterans and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at:  American History Theatre.

 
The cast of "The Odd Couple", during a rehearsal at museum recently. Melissa Malloy (front and center) stars with Kathryn Schellinger (front left) in this American classic!
Toys for Tots Collection Site until Dec. 15!!


For the second year, your  Veterans Museum will host a donation box to collect Toys for Tots for the US Marine Corps Reserve annual drive.  Come down and bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl and drop it in our box until Dec 15.

For more information about Toys for Tots or to see other drop off locations, Click Here!
See Our Gift Shop for Your Patriotic Christmas! 
  Are you looking for a gift for that special military person in your life? Sometimes it's tough to know what to get a veteran when you aren't a veteran yourself. That's okay!  We have you covered this season! We offer holiday stockings, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy Bears and specialty ornaments, and plenty of special stocking stuffers. On top of our Christmas items, we always have an incredible array of nostalgic and patriotic coins, historic books about each combat era and so much more! Treat your Veteran right this Christmas and grab something meaningful from our gift shop. We know Veterans are a nostalgic bunch and offer exactly what will make their heart swell. 

Happy Holidays from the Veterans Museum and Gift Shop staff and members! 
Last month 
Jamul Indian Village and The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park Unveil New Native American Exhibit

On November 9 we were very honored to unveil a new exhibit at the museum in partnership with Jamul Indian Village as part of Native American Heritage Month. The exhibit, "Legacy of Service" will now be permanently and prominently featured in the Main Hall of the museum and tells the story of Native American service to all branches of the military. The legacy of the Native American stretches far, far back into history and their service to this great land extends far beyond that of their time in the American military.
Kenneth Meza, Jamul Indian Village Leader, looks at the new kiosk that accompanies the museums new Native American exhibit.

Kenneth Meza, Jamul Indian Villlage leader, elder and Vietnam Veteran, spoke for the grand opening of the exhibit about his time serving his country as a Native American.

"I don't cry for anything," said Meza. "I don't cry when people die, when I am in pain, I'm not the type of person who cries. But I will cry when I think of my brothers that I lost during Vietnam. I will always cry when I talk about Vietnam."

The Jamul Indian Village exhibit can be found on the left wall of the Main Hall as you enter the museum and is accompanied by an interactive kiosk with videos and photos that tell the deeper story of the Native American tie to our great military. 

And the Band Played On: San Diego City Guard Band Plays For The Veterans Museum on Veterans Day! 


A big round of applause for The San Diego City Guard Band for the Veterans Day Concert they gave at the museum. This is but one of many free concerts this all-volunteer band has provided the museum. 

The San Diego City Guard Band is a community band, whose  members meet in rehearsal once a week in a  collegiate  environment.  Organized in 1980 by a group of for mer musicians from high school and college bands and Armed Forces bands, they play the old traditional band literature of Sousa, Fillmore, King and others. That niche of music spans from roughly 1890 to 1935.  

They also performed an amazing rendition of each services' official song, each of  which could be heard out the museum's door and throughout the park.  The flags above the main hall fluttered as the San Diego Band delivered yet another outstanding performance in the name of patriotism, freedom and our community's Veterans.


The San Diego City Guard Band performs at The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park during Veterans Day.



The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art Brings Gordon Parks to the Museum
The man, the myth, the creative legend, Gordon Parks. 

November 14 marked the opening of our partnered photography exhibit with The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art. The work of icon Gordon Parks will be up until Dec. 15 in The Vietnam Room. Parks is known for his work during the Civil Rights Movement, but was also well known for his work for VOGUE magazine, for LIFE magazine and for writing the movie SHAFT.

Opening Night featured a screening of the film "The Anderson Platoon", winner of the 1967 Academy Award for best documentary. The screening was followed by a panel discussion comprised of Vietnam Veterans, Joseph Anderson, President/CEO Tag Holdings (featured in the film); Robert "Bobby" McDonald, President Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce; Hakim Alaji, Co-Founder Community Preparatory School and Mr. Norris Charles, Retired Professor Mesa College.

Currently, SDAAMFN is working with the Gordon Parks Foundation to have the photography on display at the museum. The work entails the history of a people just as the Civil Rights Movement moved was beginning to pick up steam. Parks was also known for his work in capturing African American service members during this time. These men and women fought for their country's freedom on foreign soil, but came home and were unable to take advantage of many of those freedoms. Parks' work continues to be a statement to this day. We look forward to working with SDAAMFA again in the future on larger, similar, projects. So keep an eye out for more meaningful content coming your way in the future!  

Veterans Museum Benefit Concert
"All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914"

The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park was incredibly proud to host Bodhi Tree Concerts, who collaborated with FAB United, SACRA/PROFANA and the San Diego Opera for a spell-binding presentation of "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914." The show debuted Nov. 19 and then ran again for a Sunday matinee, with each showing completely full.

The storyline is a classic tale of camaraderie which surpasses most other tales of soldierly fellowship and brotherhood. On the battlefields of Belgium, during the early months of WWI, thousands of men, opposing in forces, laid down their weapons and the left the protection of their trenches to celebrate the season without death and fighting. They exchanged gifts of chocolate, liquor, played soccer, exchanged pictures of loved ones and helped each other bury their dead. Eventually, upon orders from above, the men returned to their trenches and began to fight each other once again.

This historical event was brought to stunning life by Bodhi Tree Concerts who combined the singing and acting talent of some of San Diego's finest male voice stars. The show, done in flawless a cappella, was written by Peter Rothstein, with musical arrangements by Rick Lichte and Timothy C. Takah. Stage direction was done by Jacob Bruce, with musical direction by Juan Carlos Acosta. 

The cast of "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914" perform a song during Bodhi Tree Concerts' presentation of this classic military Christmas tale. 


Mike Chamberlain Performs "Love Songs from WWII" as a 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Special Concert


The museum was excited to welcome Mike Chamberlain to its stage for the first time on Nov. 27. He performed "Love Songs from WWII" as part of a 75th Anniversary tribute to the attacks on our nation at Pearl Harbor.

Chamberlain, A Vietnam Veteran, began his music career as a child and had signed to a label by the time he was in high school. Although he was ready to begin his career as a high profile performer, his nation had other plans and he was drafted to serve in Vietnam. After his time in service, he became a radio disc jockey, which led to a career in television broadcasting. He spent 10 years as ESPN's Water Sports Analyst, but after retirement he decided to go back to his heart's true calling, music. Chamberlain now performs over 200 concerts a year, delivering the type of nostalgia that only music can to our community.  His deep love for Veterans of the Greatest Generation and his fellow Vietnam Veterans is a precious thing that he conveys through the stories he tells and through his songs. Look for Chamberlain to grace our stage again in the future! 


Mike Chamberlain, Vietnam Veteran, former ESPN Water Sports analyst and local TV personality, performs love songs from the Greatest Generation at The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park. 


Stories from the Archives
USS San Diego was the only major  Navy Vessel sunk by the Germans during WWI.
USS San Diego (ACR-6) photographed on 28 January 1915, while serving as flagship of the Pacific Fleet.  
 The USS San Diego was commissioned in 1907 as the USS California, but renamed on 1 September 1914, in order to free up her original ( California) name for use with the new Tennessee-class battleship planned to start construction in 1915 (the future USS California BB-44).   Historically sailors have been, and still are a superstitious lot. and they have always considered it bad luck to change the name of a ship; this is usually ignored at the lofty levels of the Navy Department and in Congress.
  Early on 19 July 1918, San Diego left the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard bound for New York where she was to meet and escort a convoy bound for France. Her captain - Harley H. Christy - ordered a zigzag course at a speed of 15  kn (28 km/h; 17 mph). Visibility was reported as being from 6-8 mi (9.7-12.9 km). In his report to a Board of Inquiry on the cruiser's loss, Christy stated that all lookouts, gun watches, and fire control parties were at their appointed stations and on full alert, and that all necessary orders to safeguard the watertight integrity of the ship in dangerous waters had been given and were being carried out. [6] 
  At 11:05 the next day, 19 July, San Diego was steaming northeast of the Fire Island Lightship when an explosion occurred on the cruiser's port side adjacent to the port engine room and well below the waterline. The bulkhead at the site of the explosion was warped so that the watertight hatch between the engine room and No. 8 fire room could not be shut, and both compartments immediately flooded. Captain Christy assumed that the ship had been torpedoed and immediately sounded submarine defense quarters and ordered all guns to open fire on anything resembling a periscope.
About 10 minutes after the explosion, the cruiser began to sink. Orders were given to lower the liferafts and boats. Captain Christy held off giving the order to abandon ship until he was certain that San Diego was going to capsize, when the crew abandoned the vessel in a disciplined and orderly manner. Christy was the last man to leave the ship. She had sunk in 28 minutes with the loss of six lives, the only major warship lost by the United States in World War I.
USS San Diego
Crew of the USS San Diego attend a dinner dance in their honor in New York City in 1918.  A short time later they were sunk off the New England Coast, the only major US Navy ship lost to Germany during WWI. Photo donated by Karen Tolvo, her father is in this picture and was aboard when she sank. 
So, a mere four years after the changing of the ship's name from California to San Diego, the sailors are proved correct and reinforced in their superstitions, as the USS San Diego goes to the bottom of the sea in 1918.

You can see this photo and read the story in our art gallery at the museum.
 
Celebrating the Holidays:  Programs, Menus and Cards from the Museum's collection
XmasDinner 1915     Xmas Dinner Roster 1915Dinner Menu 
Christmas dinner program and menu from Troop K, 14th Cavalry, Fort McIntosh, Texas, 1915.
NAS San Diego 1941 Thanksgiving  
NAS San Diego 1941 Thanksgiving Dinner Program and Menu.
NAS San Diego Christmas 1941 NAS SD 1941 christmas menu
NAS San Diego 1941 Christmas dinner  Program and Menu.
MACV Xmas Card
Military Assistance Advisory Group
Command (MAC-V)  Christmas Card from Vietnam, c. 1968-1972.
'43 xmas card
Christmas card from the Persian Gulf Command, Persia, 1943-1944.  They facilitated Lend-Lease supply to Russia in WWII. 
Christmas Program Vietnam Long Binh 1968   Christmas Program Vietnam Long Binh 1968
1968 Christmas Menu from Long Binh sent home by Lee Steeley who served with the 5thBn, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Inf Brigade.  He also got to see Bob Hope do a USO and comments on it on the reverse.
Christmas Program Amphib Base Little Creek 1944   Christmas Program Amphib Base Little Creek 1944
Christmas Dinner Menu 1944 for the Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, VA.  Cover has drawing of a Gator Santa Clause commanding an "LCM" (Landing Craft Medium) 
Christmas Program USS Helena 1916
USS Helena's Christmas Program, 1916, she served on the Yangtze River and China Patrols in the far east. 
  Christmas Program USS Helena  1918 Christmas Program USS Montcello 1944 
USS Helena's Christmas Program 1918 and the USS Monticello Christmas Dinner in 1944. 
Museum News
Amazon Smile!! 
 
Did you know that you can support the Veterans Museum every time you shop online at Amazon.com by signing up with AmazonSmile?  It is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Veterans Museum at no cost to you. By signing up and shopping at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Veterans Museum.
 
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device with your existing Amazon.com account or create a new account.  You will need select the charity of you choice and we encourage you to type in and select the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center.  Amazon will remember your selection and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to our museum.
 
You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Shop Amazon Smile  Here!

FREE Creative Arts for the public - No skill required and drop-ins welcome!
Join us for Family Fun on Free Tuesday!
Main Hall
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Every Tuesday
Lower Level
2:30 to 4 p.m. - Forum
6 to 9 p.m. -  Creative Arts & Writing Workshop
6 to 9 p.m. - Free Bronze Casting Workshop
Free: Only for Veterans, Military and Spouses!
RSVP required
7 to 9 p.m. Workshop: Improv for All
RSVP requested

Every Wednesday
Lower Level
6 to 9 p.m. - Creative Arts & Writing Workshop

Every Sunday
Main Hall
2 to 4 p.m. - FAMILY FUN    
2 to 4 p.m. - Creative Arts & Writing Workshop
    
AA "Tony the Vet" LoBue
Arts Director
Cell: 619-806-2075
ArtsDirector@veteranmuseum.org










IMPROV FOR ALL!!
Calling all Quick-Wits, Jokers and Smart-Alecks!! Ever wanted to try improv? The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park is hosting weekly FREE workshops to give it a try. Classes are taught by Katie Turner, PhD in Theatre and Artist-in-Residence. 

We just started it in October and here are a few testimonials:
" With my zero experience performing, Katie's encouragement and clear instructions make every exercise fun! Thank you to Tony for helping make this class possible. I'll definitely be coming back." -Stephanie G.
 
"I have always wanted to try improv. This class is great, fun and challenging. Katie does a great job. I highly recommend this class to anyone who would like to give improv a try." -Karen L.

Classes are held every Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and while you can drop-in, RSVP's are requested. For more information, email Katie at acting92117@gmail.com.
The Bent Prop Project is coming back in January!!
Save the date for Jan. 21 and Jan. 25     
 
We were so fortunate to have The BentProp Project provide an educational presentation last year and it was so well-received that this will be the first monthly event of 2017. The organization has graciously agreed to another presentation and an update from the 2016 mission. 

The Bent Prop Project is a nonprofit organization that conducts year-round research in support of their annual spring missions to the Palau Islands who are dedicated to locating and assisting with identifying American prisoners of war and missing in action from WWII. Their purpose is both to help bring closure to affected MIA families and to express our gratitude for these Americans lost in combat for their sacrifices in defense of our country, as well as for the consequent sacrifices of their families.
 
The BentProp Project consists of a small group of volunteers with varied backgrounds from across the country. Created over two decades ago, it has resulted in the repatriation of several missing Americans. 

The event will be free and open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Wednesday, Jan. 25. The presentation will provide an update to the recent missions and include a short documentary about the organization.
 
To view a video about about Bent Prop, click: Here!  
To learn more about the organization click: Here!
Recent Donations the Museum
November 2016

Nathan Hall of San Diego donated photos and artifacts from his father who served in the first Gulf War.
Larry Lamb of San Diego donated his photos, documents, letters, and newspapers fr4om his Vietnam Experience as a Seabee serving with Mobile Construction Battalion 53 at Chu Lai from 1967 to 1968. 
Janice & Orville Lint of Crestline, CA donated their parent's wedding dress & uniform from 1944.  Frank & Priscilla Duncanson were married on 24 June 1944, they met at a USO dance in San Francisco.
Duncanson Wedding
Priscella and AMS-1 Frank Duncanson on their wedding day in June 1944.  The wedding dress and uniform pictured above are now part of the museum's collection. Donated by Janice & Orville Lint of Crestline, CA.
Duncanson, 1944-45 Duncanson, 1944-45

Toni Martin of Lemon Grove donated eight books on naval navigation.
Sandra Mosteller of San Diego donated Col. Wilber Mosteller, USMA Class of 1925, photo album, photos, documents, insignia and memorabilia from his service in the China-Burma-India theater during WWII.'
Navy Nurse Corps Association of Southern California donated a framed WWI Navy Recruiting Poster, an embroidered handkerchief from 1919 commemorating WWI, and a roadmap of Baghdad dated 1985 from the Defense Mapping Agency.
Luise Olinzock of Los Angeles, CA, donated artifacts and memorabilia from her uncle, Ens. Eugene Olinzock, a naval aviator who was listed as missing in action on a flight in the pacific on 23 October 1943.
Judy Rowe of San Diego donated her father's vest with a collection of veterans pins from the VFW, American Legion, and other veterans' organizations.  Thomas S. Rowe, BM-1, USN,  was on the USS Castor during the Pearl Harbor attack. 
Veterans Vest
BM-1 Thomas Rowe, USN/Ret, veteran's vest weighs in at over 10 pounds.
Veterans Vest
It is covered with pins from veterans organizations, conventions and events.

Karen Tolvo of Santee donated a large collection artifacts from family members (Richter & Tagland) who served in the military dating from 1901 and including WWI, WWII, and Convair Astronautics.  The collection includes, books, documents, photographs, maps, artwork, souvenirs, programs, and memorabilia.  Her two grandfathers and one grandmother served in WWI, her father, mother and uncle served in WWII. 
Fred P. Richter WWI
Staff Sergeant Fred P. Richter was an Army Mechanic during WWI.
WWI Postcards
A French WWI postcard showing troops being resupplied by trucks during the war.
Shellback Cert. 1925
Shellback Cert. 1925-2
LT Orly Tagland was shellbacked on July 4, 1925 aboard the USS Altair.  This is his certificate of proof so he would not have to do it again!
NAS San Diego 1941 Thanksgiving
LCDR Orly Tagland was Commisary Officer at NAS San Diego (Coronado) and is listed in the program.
NAS San Diego Christmas 1941
LCDR Orly Tagland was Commisary Officer at NAS San Diego (Coronado) and is listed in the program.

New and Renewing Members

Robert & Mary Jane Altman*
Marilyn Marshall
Ted Atwood Jr. Mel & Joan Mayuiers
Allen Beddoe Calvin Miller Family
Barbara Beeby David & Laurie Miller
Terry & Jonette Briers Daniel Murray Family
Jo Anne Bryan Nancy Nelson
David Buller Family Amy Overton-Buck
Ransey & Judy Clark Jacquelyn Owens*
Gary & Linda Clark Kathy Owens
William Crew Delores & Deb Parks*
Ray & Marie Dial Mary Jane Rimes
Nicholas Dirkx* John & Cathie Robbins
Debbie Emery-Flores Diane Sandoval
Susam Farense Family Allen & Jan Turner*
Lue Hintz Catherine Watkins
Patricia Johnston Ed Weikel
Patricia Langston Goldie Wolman*
Patricia Louis Larry & Sandra Zinn
                                                                             
* Life Member 
    
                   
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To donate to the museum:
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, 2115 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
| (619)239-2300 | info@veteranmuseum.org | www.veteranmuseum.org