Texas Heritage, Summer 2001 Page: 20
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CONFEDERATE AIR FORCE
Located with the Confederate Air
Force Headquarters at Midland
International Airport, the American
Airpower Heritage Museum is recognized
for its collection of authentic World War
II artifacts and memorabilia, including
uniforms of Allied and Axis countries,
armament, photographs, weapons, equipment,
aircraft, and the world's largest collection
of original aviation nose art.
The museum houses 40,000-squarefeet
of hands-on permanent exhibits that
detail the story of World War II airpower.
From the rise of German and Japanese
militarism before World War II to the
introduction of the atomic age, the
AAHM provides interactive exhibits
that illustrate aviation concepts and
events from every theater of WWII.
As part of the museum tour, visitors
will also see between 14 and 20 aircraft
on display in the Confederate Air Force
hangar. The airplanes change quarterly,
so even those who've been to the museum
before will likely see something new.
The Confederate Air Force began in
1957, when a small group of ex-service
pilots from the Rio Grande Valley in
Texas pooled their money to purchase a
P-51 Mustang. This set in motion events
that would lead to the world's most complete
collection of flying World War II
Located at Midland International
www. airpowermuseum. org
THE NITA STEWART HALEY
MEMORIAL LIBRARY & J. EVETTS
HALEY HISTORY CENTER
Opened in 1976 and founded by the
Southwest's preeminent historian, J.
Evetts Haley, the Haley Library now contains
almost 30,000 rare books, manuscripts,
interviews, records, and photographs.
With a focus on range and early
ranch history, the Library's collections
cover exploration, frontier military life,
railroads, mining and mineral development,
folklore, Native Americans, politics,
farming, and local histories.
Additionally, fine Southwestern art
and artifacts from the Library's permanent
collection are displayed in the exhibition
galleries. A highlight is a bronze
bell that once hung in the Alamo.
1805 West Indiana Avenue, (915) 6825785;
THE PETROLEUM MUSEUM
AND HALL OF FAME
Telling the story of oil - how it was
formed, how it shapes the reservoirs
inside the earth, how it is found and
drilled for, and how it is brought to the
surface - is the mission of Midland's
Beginning millions of years ago when
dinosaurs roamed the Permian Basin, the
story of oil begins appropriately by
explaining the formation of oil deep
beneath the earth's surface.
One of the most eye-catching exhibits
at the museum is a full-scale reconstructed
floor of a cable tool rig, complete with
drillers and drilling bits. Visitors can also
try their hand at the exploration game -
the same wild ride of chance that wildcatters
play - that results in either sinking
a dry hole or hitting the big one.
1500 Interstate 20 West (exit 136),
(915) 683-4403; www.petroleummuseum. org
MILLION BARREL MUSEUM
Few museums have a beginning that is
as interesting as that of the Million
The tank, which is the museum complex's
dominating feature, was constructed
in 1928 by Shell Oil Co. to hold
a million barrels of oil. Unfortunately it
did not meet expectations for several reasons
and was soon abandoned. After
much brainstorming, the idea of using
the tank and some surrounding land to
make an outdoor historical museum took
Today that complex features artifacts
that range from the large storage tank to
small curiosities like a button hook or
butter mold that can be found in the
restored 1908 Holman house that sits
beside the tank. Together, the buildings
and exhibits focus on the railroad that
first opened the area to settlement in
1881, agriculture and ranching activities
that followed, and finally, the discovery
Located east of Monahans on Business
Interstate 20, (915) 943-8401;
www. monahans. org
October is Texas Archeology
celebrated in the next issue of
HERITAGE E SUMMER 2001
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Summer 2001, periodical, Summer 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45385/m1/20/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.