On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will present a program in honor of the state’s veterans. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you can’t stay the entire time, drop by for part of the presentation. Admission is free.
In addition to recognizing North Carolinians who have served, several speakers will highlight the extraordinary stories of African American soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Indian wars, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War.
The keynote speaker is Capt. E. L. Brown, a U.S. Army veteran and commander of the National Organization of Buffalo Soldiers, North Carolina, Chapter Five. He is a direct descendant of Buffalo Soldiers, who were members of the first all-African American regiments in the U.S. Army. In 1866 Congress established the first all-black regiment, the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment, later nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers eventually included five more regiments that served in military campaigns in the Southwest and Great Plains regions from 1866 to the early 1890s. After these campaigns ended, the soldiers fought in the Spanish-American War.
Brown, a Vietnam War veteran, was a member of the Shadow Company, Combat Rifle Team, of the 101st Airborne Division, known as the Screaming Eagles. After retiring from the U.S. Army, he worked for several years in Washington, D.C.
Earl Ijames, curator of African American history at the N.C. Museum of History, will present a historical vignette about Parker D. Robbins, who fought in the 33rd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, during the Civil War. Robbins, one of the state’s free blacks, enlisted in the Union army to help end slavery and win freedom. In 1863 he left his Bertie County farm and traveled to Norfolk, Va., to enlist. Robbins eventually reached the rank of sergeant major.
A schedule of the Nov. 10 program follows.
10 a.m.: Opening Remarks Earl L. Ijames, Curator
N.C. Museum of History
10:05 a.m.: Welcome Ken Howard, Director
N.C. Museum of History
10:15 a.m.: Invocation Rev. Frederick D. Smith
Charles T. Norwood, VFW, Post 157
10:20 a.m.: Recognition of Dignitaries Joseph H. Holt Jr.
U.S. Air Force, Retired
10:30 a.m.: The Meaning of Veterans Day Dr. Charmaine McKissick Melton
N.C. Central University
11 a.m.: Historical Vignette: Parker D. Robbins, Earl L. Ijames
33rd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops
11:15 a.m.: Introduction of Keynote Speaker Earl L. Ijames
11:30 a.m.: Keynote Address Capt. E. L. Brown
U.S. Army, Retired, and Cmdr., National Organization of
Buffalo Soldiers, N.C., Chapter Five
12:15 p.m.: Intermission
1 p.m.: Historical Vignette: Priv. John Chavis, Dr. Helen Chavis Othow, Clarence Chavis
Colored Patriot of the American Revolution and artist Michelle Nicole
1:30 p.m.: Belowdecks in the Pacific Theater Dr. Robert E. Sharpe
in World War II U.S. Navy, World War II
2:15 p.m.: Colored Confederates and Earl L. Ijames
U.S. Colored Troops
3 p.m.: Recognition of World War II and Millie Dunn Veasey
Korean War Veterans U.S. Women’s Army Corps, World War II
A commemorative program of the event will be available for $3. Proceeds will benefit the American Legion. For more information, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org. The museum is located at 5 E. Edenton St., across from the State Capitol. Parking is available in the lot across Wilmington Street.
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.