Fort Des Moines Museum

Fort Des Moines Museum Welcome to the Official page of the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center.
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The Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center preserves and promotes the history of the African American men who served in World War I and the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) of World War II.

Great article at Smithsonian.com about the 404th WAC Band - the first all African-American, female band in United States...
03/29/2019
Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Military’s Only All-Black Female Band Battled the War Department and Won

Great article at Smithsonian.com about the 404th WAC Band - the first all African-American, female band in United States Army History. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/seventy-five-years-ago-militarys-only-all-black-female-band-won-victory-against-war-department-180971815/

The women of the 404th Armed Service Forces band raised morale and funds for the military, but they had to fight discrimination to do so

Check out this awesome event to learn more about the history of Fort Des Moines! Free to the public!#IowaNationalGuardHi...
02/16/2019

Check out this awesome event to learn more about the history of Fort Des Moines! Free to the public!

#IowaNationalGuardHistory #FortDesMoines

Come out to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to hear Paul Bridgford speak about the history of Fort Des Moines - for free! ⭐️ Bridgford spent two years as the administrator of the Fort Des Moines Museum. His presentation will include photos of the post's activities during the World Wars. 🖼 #IowaGoldStarMilitaryMuseum #IowaNationalGuardHistory #FortDesMoines

02/02/2019

Unfortunately, the Fort Des Moines Museum will be closed today (February 2nd). We will be open again on Saturday, Feb. 9th. Hope to see everyone next weekend!

Captain Benjamin Davis, Jr., commanded the Tuskegee Airmen, and in 1954, became the first black general officer of the A...
02/01/2019

Captain Benjamin Davis, Jr., commanded the Tuskegee Airmen, and in 1954, became the first black general officer of the Air Force.

Take a walk through history by following our detailed timelines and learn about the unique men and women who shaped history through their service.

Open tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Celebrate the start of #BlackHistoryMonth by bringing your family and friends to the fort!

#WorldWarI #WorldWarII #FortDesMoines

01/25/2019

The Fort Des Moines Museum will be closed Saturday, January 26th. We will be open again on Saturday, Feb. 2nd.

01/18/2019

Turn your sound on to check out one of our unique displays at the fort!

Lt. James Reese Europe was the first African American to lead U.S. troops into battle in World War I. He also led a 99-piece military band and introduced American jazz to Europeans while he was stationed in France!

Visit the fort and play some of Europe's music while walking through our exhibits! We're open tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. See you soon!

#WorldWarI #FortDesMoines #Jazz

01/12/2019

Due to inclement weather, the museum will be closed the remainder of Saturday, January 12th. We will re-open next Saturday!

Spend this snowy Saturday at the fort! Walk through our interactive exhibits, learn more about the first class of Africa...
01/12/2019

Spend this snowy Saturday at the fort! Walk through our interactive exhibits, learn more about the first class of African American officers at Fort Des Moines, and take a look at the groundbreaking women who went through training at the fort during World War II.

We're open today from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hope to see you soon!

#WorldWarI #WorldWarII #FortDesMoines

"Big Nemms" served in the 366th Infantry,92nd Division during World War I. He was briefly stationed in France when this ...
01/04/2019

"Big Nemms" served in the 366th Infantry,92nd Division during World War I. He was briefly stationed in France when this photograph was taken.

Detailed timelines, artifacts, and photographs offer visitors a better understanding of the fort's important role throughout history. Learn more about the fort by visiting on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

#WorldWarI #FortDesMoines #History

After World War I, James B. Morris returned to Des Moines and purchased a local newspaper called "The Bystander". Under ...
12/28/2018

After World War I, James B. Morris returned to Des Moines and purchased a local newspaper called "The Bystander". Under his leadership, the newspaper advocated for equal opportunities and civil rights. Morris also graduated as a second lieutenant in the first black officer class from Fort Des Moines.

Learn more about the lives and stories of those who served at Fort Des Moines by visiting the museum on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

#FortDesMoines #TheBystander #WorldWarI

This cookbook was issued to Helen Harwitz at Fort Des Moines in 1941 and includes recipes for jelly doughnuts, cinnamon ...
12/08/2018

This cookbook was issued to Helen Harwitz at Fort Des Moines in 1941 and includes recipes for jelly doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, beef fritters, chicken stew with dumplings, and more. Bon appétit!

Visit the fort from 10 AM - 4 PM today and learn more about the lifestyles of the men and women who served at Fort Des Moines throughout history!

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarII #History

Dive into December with us tomorrow and visit the fort from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. to learn more about the brave men and women...
11/30/2018

Dive into December with us tomorrow and visit the fort from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. to learn more about the brave men and women who served in World War I and World War II.

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII

Thank you to the Wells Fargo Museum for inviting us to present some WWI artifacts at their exhibit opening featuring WWI...
11/30/2018

Thank you to the Wells Fargo Museum for inviting us to present some WWI artifacts at their exhibit opening featuring WWI Liberty Bond posters and artwork.

11/27/2018

Today is Giving Tuesday! Please consider supporting the Fort Des Moines Museum today via our GoFundMe Campaign (see below). Thank you!

11/13/2018

Friends - please consider donating to the museum through our GoFundMe campaign, Paypal, or by sending a check the museum. As noted in the Des Moines Register article many of you read, the museum is facing significant financial challenges, and any support you can provide will help!

Pictures from the Midwest Miniatures group hosted at the museum a few weeks ago.  Very cool stuff!
11/10/2018

Pictures from the Midwest Miniatures group hosted at the museum a few weeks ago. Very cool stuff!

“This is something big and important,” volunteer Saxon Ryan said. “This is an important piece of our history.”Fo...
11/10/2018
Passionate volunteers keep Fort Des Moines museum afloat

“This is something big and important,” volunteer Saxon Ryan said. “This is an important piece of our history.”

Fort Des Moines is history that's worth saving and preserving. Visit the museum on Saturdays 10 a.m - 4p.m. to learn more about this significant part of Iowa's history.

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII

Built in 1901, Fort Des Moines is the site of two ground-breaking moments in U.S. military history.

More pictures from the Massing of the Colors event Nov. 3rd.
11/08/2018

More pictures from the Massing of the Colors event Nov. 3rd.

11/08/2018
JROTC Cadets

JROTC cadets presenting the colors at the Massing of the Colors event Nov. 3rd.

Some pictures from today's Massing of the Colors event at Fort Des Moines.
11/03/2018

Some pictures from today's Massing of the Colors event at Fort Des Moines.

Dr. Hosea Nichols was a first lieutenant and one of the first African American officers trained at Fort Des Moines durin...
09/17/2018
Black physician who served in WWI was mover, shaker

Dr. Hosea Nichols was a first lieutenant and one of the first African American officers trained at Fort Des Moines during World War I. The fort was, and continues to be, a significant part of many people's lives. Learn more about Dr. Nichols' incredibly journey here. ➤ Herald-Whig

#WorldWarI #FortDesMoines #History

Dr. Hosea J. Nichols was one of the 104 doctors of African-American descent who were physicians in World War I. His father, William Nichols, who had been born a slave, served with the Union Army in the 59th U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War.

We sat down with BackStory to discuss the relevance of museums and the significance of Fort Des Moines throughout histor...
08/27/2018
In With The Old: Fort Des Moines and the Challenge of Keeping Museums Relevant

We sat down with BackStory to discuss the relevance of museums and the significance of Fort Des Moines throughout history. Thanks for the spotlight!

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII #History

Fort Des Moines represents an essential space in the historical intersection of the United States military and the Civil Rights Movement. The fort served as

Photos of WAC members taken in 1945 at Fort Des Moines were assembled into yearbook type booklets and given to the women...
08/26/2018

Photos of WAC members taken in 1945 at Fort Des Moines were assembled into yearbook type booklets and given to the women. They were also given a standard issued WAC handbook and a War Department Pamphlet upon their arrival.

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarII #WACs #History

October 9th, 1942Members of the first WAC training center at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, adjusted their masks as they entered...
08/19/2018

October 9th, 1942

Members of the first WAC training center at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, adjusted their masks as they entered the Chemical Warfare Service Gas Chamber to observe a chemical warfare demonstration.

#FortDesMoines #WAC #WorldWarII

Mary Jane Wittich was sworn into the WAC in 1943 and served at Fort Des Moines during World War II. During her time at t...
08/13/2018

Mary Jane Wittich was sworn into the WAC in 1943 and served at Fort Des Moines during World War II. During her time at the fort, she kept a detailed diary that included her matchbook collection and cartoon drawings of her daily exercises.

These personal entries provide insight to daily life and occurrences at the fort throughout history!

#FortDesMoines #WAC #WorldWarII

Private Clifford Bowman spent time at Fort Des Moines during World War I and was eventually awarded a Victory Medal for ...
08/05/2018

Private Clifford Bowman spent time at Fort Des Moines during World War I and was eventually awarded a Victory Medal for his service. He was later stationed overseas and wrote letters to Elsie Tooker, his sweetheart, in the states. The Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center is proud to preserve and promote the lives of all who served at the fort throughout history.

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #LiveFromTheArchive

Born in Des Moines in 1905, Mildred M. Rear joined the WAC during World War II and became a sergeant. She spent time in ...
07/29/2018

Born in Des Moines in 1905, Mildred M. Rear joined the WAC during World War II and became a sergeant. She spent time in England, France, and Germany. For her service, she received many honors including the Bronze Star. Some of her artifacts, including a handmade WAC doll she owned, are featured at the museum.

#LiveFromTheArchive #WAC #WorldWarII #FortDesMoines

"Supporting Fort Des Moines is a way of saying thank you to those who have sacrificed for this country."Read more to get...
07/23/2018
Saving Fort Des Moines

"Supporting Fort Des Moines is a way of saying thank you to those who have sacrificed for this country."

Read more to get an inside look at the history of Fort Des Moines and how you can help TODAY!

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII #WAC #WAAC

Last weekend, Neal and I had the honor of meeting and shaking hands with 2 Tuskegee Airmen, one is 93 years old and the other is 95. With ea...

"A Monumental Journey" was dedicated earlier this month honoring 12 African American lawyers who founded the National Ba...
07/21/2018
Downtown sculpture symbolizes persistence, outreach in face of discrimination

"A Monumental Journey" was dedicated earlier this month honoring 12 African American lawyers who founded the National Bar Association (originally the Negro Bar Association). Two of its founding members, Charles P. Howard and James B. Morris, were among the first black officers with the 17th Provisional Training Regiment at Fort Des Moines. ➤ The Des Moines Register

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI

The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 by black Des Moines lawyers who couldn't get into the main one.

"Born out of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943, the WAC enabled women to take over more routine service and offic...
06/30/2018
Remembering the Women's Army Corps

"Born out of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943, the WAC enabled women to take over more routine service and office jobs and free men for combat roles during World War II. They often did so for less pay, limited advancement opportunities and flagrant harassment and disrespect from male counterparts." ➤ U.S. Army

#FortDesMoines #WAAC #WAC #WorldWarII

General Douglas MacArthur called them

"As an inaugural member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps), she became, in 1942, one...
06/23/2018
Officer, lawyer and minister who blazed a trail for black women

"As an inaugural member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps), she became, in 1942, one of the first women of any race to be commissioned an Army officer. Attaining the rank of captain, she personally recruited scores of African-American women for wartime Army service."

#FortDesMoines #WAACs #WACs #WorldWarII

Dovey Johnson Roundtree obituary: She helped secure ban on racial segregation in transport

06/23/2018

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the museum is closed today, June 23, 2018. We will be open again on Saturday, June 30, 2018 from 10-4.

Spend time at the museum learning about a cornerstone of Des Moines that was home to the African American officers of Wo...
06/22/2018

Spend time at the museum learning about a cornerstone of Des Moines that was home to the African American officers of World War I and the WAACs and WACs of World War II. Hope to see you tomorrow!

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII #WAACs #WACs

"Fort Des Moines, Iowa, was named the first training center for the Women's Army Corps, preparing women for careers in s...
06/16/2018
Last Women's Army Corps Members in Iowa Army National Guard Describe M

"Fort Des Moines, Iowa, was named the first training center for the Women's Army Corps, preparing women for careers in switchboard operating, weapons repair and baking." ➤ U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

Learn more about life in the Women's Auxiliary Corps from this collection of testimonies.

#FortDesMoines #WACs #WorldWarII

As three soldiers plan their exit from the Iowa National Guard after a combined 100 years of service, they take with them the memories of a much different Army.

Stop by the fort on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to walk through the museum and learn more about the fort's history!#...
06/15/2018

Stop by the fort on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to walk through the museum and learn more about the fort's history!

#FortDesMoines #WAACs #WACs #WorldWarI #WorldWarII

Fort Des Moines Museum's cover photo
06/14/2018

Fort Des Moines Museum's cover photo

Vivian C. "Millie" Bailey received her commission at Fort Des Moines and was later stationed in Georgia and Alabama. She...
06/08/2018
Women’s Army Corps veteran remembers a general's kindness

Vivian C. "Millie" Bailey received her commission at Fort Des Moines and was later stationed in Georgia and Alabama. She eventually became a commander and led a group of WACs during World War II. Learn more about her inspiring journey here.

#FortDesMoines #WACs #WorldWarII

Not only did World War II veteran Vivian C. "Millie" Bailey volunteer during a time when women were often not accepted in the military, but she also endured the racism that was rampant in the South during the 1940s.

We're looking forward to our Open House from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. TOMORROW! Stop by the museum to learn more about the Afric...
05/18/2018

We're looking forward to our Open House from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. TOMORROW! Stop by the museum to learn more about the African American Officers who served in World War I and the WAACs and WACs of World War II. Hope to see you there!

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII #FunFactFriday #WAAC #WAC

"Eloise was part of the first group of WAACs to enter into service in the United States Army during WWII and the first g...
05/12/2018
Sgt. Eloise Ann Russell (WAC in WWII)

"Eloise was part of the first group of WAACs to enter into service in the United States Army during WWII and the first group of women to undergo military training at Fort Des Moines, arriving for service on July 21, 1942." ➤ The C.E. Daniel Collection

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarII #WAAC

A page dedicated to the military service of Eloise Ann Russell, a WAC who served during WWII at Fort Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa.

On May 19th, visit the museum from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. to learn more about the groundbreaking individuals who graduated fro...
05/11/2018

On May 19th, visit the museum from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. to learn more about the groundbreaking individuals who graduated from Fort Des Moines. We hope to see you there!

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarI #WorldWarII #FunFactFriday

"The WAAC was created in May 1942 as an auxiliary to the Army with no military status, but in July 1943 it was replaced ...
05/05/2018
Sorting the Mail, Blazing a Trail: African-American Women in World War

"The WAAC was created in May 1942 as an auxiliary to the Army with no military status, but in July 1943 it was replaced by the WAC. The women in the auxiliary were incorporated into the WAC and given military ranks." ➤ U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

#FortDesMoines #WorldWarII #WAAC #WAC

"I'm going to send a white first lieutenant down here to show you how to run this unit." The general's yell hung in the air, shocking the soldiers lined up at attention.

Visit the museum on May 19th during our Open House to learn more about the fort's groundbreaking history and the men and...
05/04/2018

Visit the museum on May 19th during our Open House to learn more about the fort's groundbreaking history and the men and women who served during World War I and II.

#FortDesMoines #FunFactFriday #WorldWarI #WorldWarII

Fort Des Moines Museum's cover photo
05/01/2018

Fort Des Moines Museum's cover photo

Address

75 E Army Post Rd
Des Moines, IA
50315

Opening Hours

Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

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