Beltrami County Historical Society Celebrates Veterans with Exhibit and Programs – Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — The Beltrami County Historical Society will celebrate and honor veterans in a special exhibit and programs held throughout Nov. 19 at the History Center, 130 Minnesota Ave. SW.

“Almost 3,000 veterans call Beltrami County home, and thousands more have called this home over the past few decades,” a statement read. “Through November 19, the Beltrami County Historical Society is seeking to share some of our veterans’ stories in a special exhibit: ‘The Brave Never Die: Honoring Beltrami County Veterans.'”

The exhibit is included with regular admission to the museum and includes photographs, uniforms, insignia, armaments, and memorabilia of veterans and veteran families of most wars involving the United States.

Items on display include Civil War discharge papers, a bottle of champagne brought back as a gift from WWII, an Army veteran’s challenge coins from the Iraq War and much more.

The Historical Society is particularly honored to present the newly cataloged Tangborn collection in this exhibition. Private First Class Virgil J. Tangborn was born in 1920 in Nary and attended Bemidji High School. He was drafted in 1943 to serve in World War II.

He perished during the invasion of Normandy while saving another soldier trapped in a burning truck containing explosive munitions. Pfc Tangborn was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for bravery and is commemorated with a statue in Périers, France.

The historical society recently received his family’s collection of Pfc Tangborn and many of these items, including his Silver Star and Purple Heart, are now on display.

The programs are fixed for the following dates:

  • Veteran Documentary Days will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, October 1 and October 15 to allow attendees to watch interviews with veterans produced by David Quam and Lakeland Public Television. Each Saturday will offer a new series of documentaries as well as free popcorn courtesy of Lueken’s Village Foods.
  • Veteran and author Wendell Affield will discuss “Muddy Jungle Rivers” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, about his experiences in Vietnam. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • The Brown Bag History presentation will take place at noon on Thursday, October 20, featuring author and historian Barry Babcock to learn about Minnesota’s role in the Civil War’s deadliest battle and the significance of soldiers’ sacrifices today.
  • Veteran and author, Dr. Michael Herbert, will speak at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 5 about his book “Leaving Campus: A World War II Epitaph” about Bemidji Teacher’s College students who were called up for service during World War II. world and have not come home. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • Veterans receive free admission to the museum on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11.
  • Community members are invited to AirCorps Aviation at 6 p.m. Friday, November 11 for a special Veterans Day program “Restoring History.” Hear the stories behind the World War II aircraft AirCorps Aviation is bringing to life in Beltrami County. This free program is part of the AirCorps Aviation Veterans Day Open House.
  • Speaker

    Gary Guggenberger will share his experiences as a prisoner of war in Vietnam at noon on Thursday, November 17, at a Brown Bag history event.

For more information, contact (218) 444-3376.