Saturday, April 07, 2007

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Erica Burrus Perry Parker, a museum volunteer, stands next to an exhibit of items from the Bay of Pigs invasion. The display is part of the Cold War exhibit at the Old Ordinance Room at Jefferson Barracks County Park. A soldier's uniform from the invasion is in the case to the left of Parker. Parker served in the U.S. Navy aboard a destroyer.

(Excerpt)The Cold War has come to the Jefferson Barracks Park.The Old Ordinance Room has more than 1,000 artifacts from the Cold War on display until June 3."This exhibit covers topics that many of us remember from our lifetimes, such as the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War, the Berlin Wall and its fall, the Vietnam War, Bay of Pigs Invasion in Cuba, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Cold War spying," said Marc Kollbaum, the museum curator.

The exhibit goes beyond the Berlin Wall to include artifacts from the Soviet Union and its allies.Kollbaum said this includes Soviet spy gadgets such as a "Doggie Doo" transmitter device, which was a homing beacon whose camouflage is designed to discourage it from being moved.He said the exhibit also has miniature KGB spy cameras, KGB emblems, East German uniforms and equipment, a metal plaque designating an East German police station and Soviet uniforms and military pieces.The exhibit begins with the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and moves through the Korean War, the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Vietnam War.Kollbaum said this is the first time the park has had a display for a time period past 1946, the year the Jefferson Barracks closed as a federal military post.He said usually the Old Ordinance Room has provided displays from 1826 to 1946, which is the time period the historic park had operated as a federal military base.Kollbaum said park volunteers and people had been asking for years for them to do an exhibit outside of that time frame.He said they were able to gain artifacts from the Cold War era from a museum volunteer, a man in Illinois and from another man in Florida, who lent about 70 percent of the materials used in the exhibit, including materials from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961. Rest of Article