HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Travel down the Hub City's historic East Sixth Street and you'll find the African American Military History Museum.
Iola Williams is a Hattiesburg Convention Commissioner and was instrumental in spear heading the effort to restore the building and preserve it's history.
Williams said, "This is a tribute to the African American soldiers who served in the military from every war that the United States has ever had."
After a year of renovations, the museum featuring interactive exhibitions, artifacts, and a video presentation opened it's doors May 23rd, 2009. Officials say it's housed in the only remaining USO built during World War II for African American soldiers.
According to Williams, "We had a tribute to veterans of World War II and we were able to find 36 surviving veterans of World War II this past January. And you should have heard the talking among them about the different kinds of things that went on not only here but in their career and time in the military."
On May 7th, the museum received a Mississippi Heritage Trust Award for Excellence in African American Preservation.
The one year anniversary celebration for the African American Military History Museum starts at 11 am, Saturday May 22nd. Festivities include an awards presentation and a retrospective first year exhibit.