In 1945 the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri, which signalled the end of hostilities between Japan and the Allied forces. As part of the War and Peace in the Pacific 75 Education Program, we invited schools from the USA, Japan and Australia to investigate the impact of WWII on their community and make documentary videos of what they found. As a climax to this program, student ambassadors from one school in each county attended a Friendship Ceremony on board the USS Missouri to mark the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbour. The student ambassadors each gave a speech on their commitment to maintain and promote peace in the Pacific. They also signed a friendship agreement between Australia, the USA and Japan.
This year the formal learning team, funded through the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund, embarked on a new and very different project, reflecting on the cumulative 75th anniversaries relating to World War II in the Pacific. We invited schools from the USA, Japan and Australia to research and reflect on significant battles from the conflict in the Pacific.
Next Monday 24 March, the museum will host a talk from the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – Charles F Bolden Jr. Yep, you read correctly, that’s NASA we’re talking about! My answer was “wow”, immediately thinking of the potential this event has to excite and inspire. “When” was my next question? How long do I have to plan and organise a major event? “Two weeks”…“Ok can do, this opportunity is too good to miss!”
So why is Administrator Bolden coming to the museum? He is interested in viewing our HMB Endeavour replica. There is a wooden trunnel located in the great cabin that was on the original HMB Endeavour and then flew on the NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, (you learn something new every day). There are natural links between the 18th century explorers and the more recent missions out to space, sometimes in more ways than we realise. Continue reading