The Prairie Village Museum took their special WWI exhibit “From Ploughboys to Doughboys: WWI in Central North Dakota” on the road this weekend for a special showing at the Minot Air Force Base Annual Airforce Ball. The 71st Airforce Ball celebrated not only 71 years of the USAF, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the war to end all wars, but also the 50th year since the 91st Missile Wing and the 5th Bomb Wing have been joined together at Minot Air Base.
The special exhibit had been on display at the Prairie Village Museum in Rugby since May 2018. Executive Director Stephanie Steinke says, “This was a first for us, not only researching, designing, and installing an exhibit with our own objects, in our own space, with our own research, but then taking it all down, transporting most of it to Minot, and setting it up in under 4 hours. It was wild, and we enjoyed every minute of it! We were so happy to have been asked to share our exhibit with them on such a special occasion on base. It’s also great to know that people in the region have noticed our exhibit and our work. It means a lot to us to have been asked to participate.” Steinke also says that future pop-up exhibits around the region are a possibility.
The black-tie event was September 15th, and consisted of hors d’oeuvre and drinks, dinner, presentations by base commanders Cochran and Harris and others, a dinner theater highlighting WWI and Minot Air Base history, and a dance. The temporary pop-up exhibit was modified to be on wooden display stands while some cases were setup in a medical tent as a makeshift museum. Uniforms, rifles, handguns, gas masks, dog tags, and other items were part of the display. Another display commemorated the soldiers from Pierce County that lost their lives in the conflict. Other decorations at the ball consisted of Humvees, a B-52, a helicopter, inert bombs and missiles, and a transport semi, among other things.
The WWI exhibit will become part of the permanent military display at the Prairie Village Museum where it will be visible for anyone who did not get a chance to see it this summer. For more information about the WWI exhibit or booking future pop-up exhibits for your location or event please contact Stephanie by email. The Prairie Village Museum is open until Sept. 30, 2018. It will reopen on May 13, 2019 for the summer. Further information and contact information is available anytime, online at www.prairievillagemuseum.com