BLOOMFIELD -- In addition to keynote speaker Andy Rooney, attendees of the upcoming Stars and Stripers reunion will enjoy the expanded museum and country atmosphere, say staff and volunteers of the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library in Bloomfield.
"The Stripers enjoyed the reunion we hosted at the museum in 1999 so much that they requested a return visit," said Deloris May, director of the Stars and Stripes Museum and Library. "We will have former and current Stars and Stripers from all over the United States and from Germany and Japan."
Since the last reunion in Bloomfield, Stars and Stripes has doubled the size of its museum and made lots of improvements, May said.
"They really love coming to the country," May said about the Stars and Stripers.
In the past the reunion has been held in bigger cities like Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas, May noted.
Rooney, a "60 Minutes" commentator and the most famous former Stars and Stripes correspondent, will speak at the newspaper's banquet at 7 p.m. Saturday at Best Western in Sikeston.
Other festivities will be held from Friday through Sunday at the newspaper's museum and library in Bloomfield.
On Nov. 9, 1861, Union soldiers published the first edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper in Bloomfield. Today, the newspaper is printed in Europe and the Middle East.
A variety of activities, including Civil War re-enactments and musical entertainment, will take place during the reunion.
The Stars and Stripes Museum will unveil two exhibits as part of the weekend events.
One of the exhibits will feature more than 50 photographs taken during World War II by former Stars and Stripes photographer Phil Stern. The exhibit will be unveiled during a ceremony at the museum at 3 p.m. Friday.
Stern, who lives in Los Angeles, is also known for his photographs of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.
"The thing about Phil Stern that I like is that regardless of what the action was, he took the picture," said Paul Arnold, curator for the Stars and Stripes Museum and Library. "Nothing was culled by Stern, be it funny or gruesome -- he took it all."
The Phil Stern Photography Exhibit is sponsored by Southern Missouri Bank and Trust in Dexter and U.S. Sen. Kit Bond's office, May said.
The other exhibit to be unveiled is the Rooney-Kiley Exhibit, which features photographs taken of Andy Rooney and Charles Kiley while they were correspondents covering WWII for the European Stars and Stripes.
The public is invited to the activities at the Stars and Stripes Museum and Library. Tickets are still available for the banquet featuring Rooney. For more information, call May at (573) 568-2055.