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Guest speakers and media sale coming to museum

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 14, 2015


EASTPOINTE — The Michigan Military Technical & Historical Museum is still solidifying its events for the fall and winter, but it already has booked a series of guest speakers and planned a media sale.

President Chris Causley said that the museum’s upcoming slate will kick off with a book and media sale for two weekends in September. The sale will run Sept. 19-20 and 26-27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

The money raised from the sale will go toward funding the museum’s operations, he said. The museum is still taking donations for that sale, which will include books, movies, music and games.

The lecture series springs back up in October after its summer hiatus. While not all of the guest speakers have been confirmed yet, Causley said several local historians have been locked in.

The first one is scheduled at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 and will feature local historian Jim Hanford.

“He’s going to be talking about the aircraft carriers that were on Lake Michigan during World War II, the Wolverine and the Sable,” Causley said. “They were converted side-wheel steamships that turned into aircraft carriers for training.”

Greg Sumner, a history professor with the University of Detroit Mercy, is scheduled to discuss his new book about Detroit and its industry during World War II, “Forging Thunderbolts,” at 2 p.m. Nov. 15.

Another local author, Michael Davis, will be speaking Dec. 6 on Gen. George Patton and the car accident he was involved in after the war that led to his death. Causley said the talk will be timely given that December will mark the 70th anniversary of Patton’s death.

The final lecture for 2015 will see Phil Naud discussing the 106th Infantry Division and the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, which was a German counteroffensive that took place in late 1944 that tried to push back Allied forces.

Causley said that when it comes to finding lecturers, organizers will try to come up with people and topics that are connected in some way to the military museum.

“Like Sumner’s lecture is related to the museum,” he said. “The others are all local historians, and while their topics may not be immediately connected to the museum, we want to give these local historians a platform as well.”

Steve Mrozek, a member of the World War II Roundtable of Detroit that co-runs the events, told the Eastsider in January that similar roundtables throughout the country usually feature historians, veterans and authors talking about a variety of aspects about that period in world history.

“We have made an effort to provide a balance in regards to the topics, and have been open to suggestions,” Mrozek said. “The Michigan military museum in Eastpointe has been a logical location for the programs essentially because of the historical emphasis and purpose.”

Speakers and events have not yet been set past the end of the year, Causley said.

Additionally, Causley said the museum’s fourth anniversary will be Nov. 11, and organizers probably will have a celebratory event on one of the Sundays near that date.

He did not anticipate any new exhibits or exhibit spaces for the fall, as staff is still working on the building’s new library and turning a back room into an additional exhibit space. Causley said that he hopes all of that work will be done in a year for the museum’s fifth anniversary.

The museum is located at 16600 Stephens Road, with a typical adult admission fee of $5. The talks are based entirely on donations, with no set entry fee. For more information, call the museum at (586) 872-2581.