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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Exhibit highlights 1950s era

Monday, October 29, 2001

(Photo)
Sikeston Depot board members Judy Bowman and Floyd Matthews prepare one of the Korean War exhibits which will open Wednesday at the Sikeston Depot as part of the 1950s "Our Town" exhibit.
SIKESTON - The birth of Rock 'n' Roll and space exploration. Fallout shelters and coonskin hats. Transistors and the polio vaccine.

The 1950s exhibit put together by Joan Cowell and Marilyn Grant, now on display at the Sikeston Depot, is a part of the "Our Town" series of exhibits by the Depot which not only show what Sikeston was like during a particular decade, but also serve as microcosms of what was happening around the nation and the world at that time.

"For example, Elvis Presley was here twice in the '50s," said Judy Bowman, Depot board member. She predicted the unpublished locally-taken photographs of the King of Rock 'n' Roll will be among the more-interesting exhibits.

The 1950s were about more than just sock hops and rock stars, however. The most significant historical event of the decade - the Korean War, which was fought from 1950-53, receives special attention in the main exhibit hall beginning next week.

Bowman said she and Angela Gilmore will finish setting up the Korean War exhibit in time to open Wednesday in the main hall where it will remain until Nov. 28, but they will continue to add material as it becomes available. "We need pictures of local Korean War veterans," said Bowman. "We're archiving them."

Pictures from local veterans and their stories will be added to the exhibit "as we get them," said Bowman. Any other Korean War items lent to the Depot for display would also be greatly appreciated, she added.

The Korean War exhibit will also feature materials on loan from The Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield including Korean War-era posters, photographs, original cartoons and a pilot safe-passage banner known as a "pilot's chit," according to Depot board member Floyd Matthews, who recently retired from the U.S. Air Force.

"The Korean War exhibit has also been supported by the Daughters of the American Revolution," said Bowman. She said Sikeston was designated a Korean War Commemorative Community for the 50th anniversary of the Korean War because of the DAR's efforts.

Together with the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, the DAR also will host a coffee reception at the Sikeston Depot from 2 to 4 p.m. on Veterans Day Nov. 11 for all area veterans and their families and friends.

Korean War veterans who attend will receive a lapel pin commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Korean War and all other veterans will receive a commemorative button. "They were issued to the DAR for distribution by the Pentagon," said Bowman.