A Brief History
On November 10, 2006, the 231st Birthday of the United States Marine Corps, President George W. Bush officially opened the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia. Actually located in the town of Triangle adjacent to the Marine Corps Base, the museum draws over 500,000 visitors per year. In 2013 an expansion was started.
Prior to the establishment of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the closest thing to a national Marine Corps museum was the Marine corps Historical Center located at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. (closed July 1, 2005) and the much smaller Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum located at Quantico.
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is a joint cooperative between the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, a not for profit private organization, obviously dedicated to all things concerning US Marine Corps history. The museum sprawls over 100,000 square feet and admission is free. The museum is part of a larger complex of US Marine Corps related attractions on the site, including a memorial park, a chapel, parade grounds, hiking trails and other outdoor related activities on the 135 acre site. (The chapel was funded by a retired Marine who donated $5 million. It was completed in 2009.)
As with many museums, this one also includes a gift shop, a theater, and a restaurant, but also includes less common attractions such as a bar and a laser rifle range. For the youngest children, there are a couple play areas. Galleries include ones dedicated to major wars as well as the recruit training process. The museum is easily located on US Route 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) and is near I-95.
Marine Corps Base Quantico is home to the Officers Candidate School and The Basic School (where new lieutenants are trained), the US Marine Corps University and is the host of the US FBI Training Academy. And the DEA Training Academy. MCB Quantico is often referred to as “The Crossroads of the Marine Corps.” The base is also home to the Marine Corps Research Center and a military prison, The Marine Corps Brig.
As the museum dedicated to the finest fighting force in the military history of the world, this is a must see attraction for all red blooded Americans, not just Marines and Marine Corps veterans. It is also a fine destination for those people lucky enough to be tourists in the United States.
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For more information, please see…
“National Museum of Marine Corps” Scrapbook Page Kit. Scrapbook Concierge, 2015.