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Contact: Shera Cohen, (413) 271-3982
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Families can experience an array of indoor and outdoor programs during spring vacation week at Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Activities, tours, and special programs await visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 16 to Saturday, April 21, 2012. Admission is free.
Youngsters hailing from every state and countries far and wide are invited to experience the first national armory.Junior Ranger wannabes of all ages can earn their badges by completing a series of fun and educational activities, both outdoors and indoors.Among the ten self-selected challenges are a firearms and Museum scavenger hunt, building a paper cannon cut out, or searching for historic Black Walnut trees on the grounds. Children can also try on Civil War and Park Ranger uniforms orpose in a life-size Ranger Cut Out. Each newly designated Junior Ranger will be awarded a prize. Photographs can be taken for the child to keep.
This year, spring vacation will feature four video skits, titled "Men of Invention," about Springfield Armory inventors Thomas Blanchard, Erskine Allin, David Lyle, and John Garand.Though their names are not well-known, the accomplishments of these men have had lasting impacts on so many lives.Learn about the duplicating machine that led to modern mass-production.Hear about the invention of the Life Saving Gun that rescued thousands of stranded sailors. See the famous WWII gas operated Semi-Automatic rifle dubbed the "best battle implement ever devised."The videos, which feature local actors, will run on the hour.
The "Men of Invention" plays were paid for in part by a grant from the Springfield Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the MA Cultural Council, a state agency, and In the Spotlight, a non-profit arts agency in Springfield, MA.
The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is the location of the nation's first armory (1794 - 1968) and was established by George Washington. The site includes historic grounds, buildings, and the world's largest historic American military firearms collection. The park is open daily from 9am - 5pm. There is ample parking and the building is wheelchair accessible. For further information and weather cancelation call 413-734-8551 or check the website at www.nps.gov/spar.