Sunday, August 2, 2009

AIM Celebrates Purple Heart Day, Honors Military

The American Independence Museum will be celebrating the Friday, August 7th anniversary of the Badge of Military Merit, also known as the “Purple Heart” by offering free tours to all active and retired military personnel.
General George Washington issued an order on August 7, 1782 to acknowledge the meritorious actions of enlisted men. The badge was to be “the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk…to be worn on the left breast.” Three men were known to have received the honor at that time, but there is no surviving written record of others who were honored with the badge.
The museum will be displaying two Purple Hearts that are in their collection, along with other medals and military ephemera. One of the badges is made of faded purple cloth and was acquired by Society of the Cincinnati member William Willey from a barn in Deerfield, NH in the 1920s. The name of the recipient is not known. The World War II medal on display belonged to J. Phillip Webber and was donated by his widow, Mrs. Alice Webber.
All active and retired military personnel are invited to take a free tour of the Ladd-Gilman House and the Folsom Tavern on Friday, August 7 during the regular tour hours of 10 to 4pm. The last tours will begin at 3pm; admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and those under 6 years of age are free. A Purple Heart craft activity will be available for children, and everyone is invited to enjoy special refreshments.
The American Independence Museum is a not-for-profit organization in Exeter, New Hampshire with a mission to connect America’s Revolutionary past with the present through its tours, programs, and special events. For more information on the museum, to become a member or for directions, please visit or call 603-772-2622.

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