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Apex Family Is 100,000th Visitor to “Knights of the Black Flag”

The Meurling family at the entrance to the exhibit Knights of the Black Flag. Johan and Stephanie Meurling came to see the exhibit with their daughters, Maya (left, first row) and Tess. Lady pirate “Cheri Bonny” presented them with prizes.

The Meurling family at the entrance to the exhibit Knights of the Black Flag. Johan and Stephanie Meurling came to see the exhibit with their daughters, Maya (left, first row) and Tess. Lady pirate “Cheri Bonny” presented them with prizes.

The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh recognized the 100,000th visitor to the popular exhibit Knights of the Black Flag on Saturday, Oct. 10. Johan Meurling of Apex purchased the lucky winning ticket for his family. He and his wife, Stephanie, and their daughters, Maya (11) and Tess (9), were surprised with a bounty of prizes presented by lady pirate “Cheri Bonny.”

The Meurlings visited the museum because their girls love history, and Knights of the Black Flag was a timely exhibit for Tess, a fourth-grader at Baucom Elementary School in Apex.

“We have been studying about Blackbeard for the past three days,” remarked Tess, who wanted to learn more about the notorious pirate. The exhibit features the largest collection of artifacts ever exhibited from the shipwreck believed to be Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Stephanie said that both girls loved the interactive components of Knights of the Black Flag. Commented Maya, “I liked having the experience of being a pirate: getting to dress up like a pirate and going on a ship.”

Johan enjoyed the exhibit’s detailed accounts of the lives of pirates, such as Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, during the Golden Age of Piracy, from 1689 to the 1720s. Stephanie was especially intrigued by the adventures of the female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

The Meurlings, who recently moved from Winston-Salem, said this was their first experience exploring museums in Raleigh.

Maya enthusiastically shared, “This is also our first experience winning something in a place. I’ve seen other people be the 100,000th visitor on television, but now it has happened to us!”
Knights of the Black Flag will be on view through Jan. 3, 2010. The exhibit explores the legacy of pirates, from ancient times to the present, through intriguing artifacts, legends and history that bring their ruthless adventures to life. The interactive exhibit is an exciting experience for all ages.

Admission is free for ages 18 and under. The fee is $5 for ages 19 and up; $4 for senior citizens, active military personnel and adult groups of 10 or more. Admission is free for Associates members and for adults who accompany school or youth groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets at the Museum Shop, located in the museum lobby.

Exhibit sponsorship is provided by SunTrust Bank, Curtis Media Group, and Time Warner Cable. To create this exhibit, the N.C. Museum of History has partnered with the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project, Underwater Archaeology Branch, N.C. Office of State Archaeology. The exhibit includes loaned artifacts from UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va., and other museums.

For more information about the museum, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org. The museum is located at 5 E. Edenton St., across from the State Capitol.

The N.C. Museum of History’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The department’s Web site is www.ncculture.com.

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