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Special exhibit celebrating and honoring Veterans open through Nov. 19

September 28 - November 19

Beltrami County Historical Society Celebrates and Honors Veterans in its Special Exhibit and Programs through November 19


Nearly three thousand veterans live in Beltrami County, and thousands more made their homes here in decades past.  Now through November 19, Beltrami County Historical Society seeks to share a few of the stories of our veterans in a special exhibit: The Brave Die Never: Honoring Beltrami County Veterans.  The exhibit is included with regular museum admission.


The exhibit includes photographs, uniforms, insignia, armaments, and memorabilia from veterans and family of veterans from most United States-involved wars.  Items on display include Civil War discharge papers, a bottle of champagne brought back as a gift from World War II, the challenge coins of an Army veteran of the Iraq War, and much more.


The Historical Society is especially honored to present the newly cataloged Tangborn Collection in this exhibit. Private First Class Virgil J. Tangborn was born in 1920 in Nary, MN and attended Bemidji High School.  He was drafted in 1943 to service in World War II.  He perished at the Invasion of Normandy while rescuing another soldier trapped in a burning truck containing exploding ammunition.  Pfc Tangborn was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for gallantry, and is commemorated by a statue in Periers, France.  The Historical Society recently received Pfc Tangborn’s collection from his family and many of those items, including his Silver Star and Purple Heart, are now on display.


In addition to the exhibit, the Historical Society is offering a variety of FREE programs by and about Veterans through November 19:


  • Veterans Documentary Days: Join us Saturday, September 24, October 1, and October 15 at 2:00 PM to watch interviews with veterans produced by David Quam and Lakeland Public Television.  Each Saturday, we’ll offer a fresh set of documentaries to experience along with free popcorn courtesy of Lueken’s Village Foods.


  • Veteran and author Wendell Affield joins us Saturday, October 8 at 2:00 PM to discuss his book Muddy Jungle Rivers about his experiences in Vietnam.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.


  • October’s Brown Bag History Presentation features historian Barry Babcock to learn more about Minnesota’s role in the deadliest battle of the Civil War and what the soldiers’ sacrifices mean to us today.  Thursday, October 20, 12:00 PM.
  • Veteran and author Dr. Michael Herbert will talk on Saturday, November 5 at 10:00 AM about his book Leaving Campus: A World War II Epitaph, regarding the students at Bemidji Teacher’s College who were called to service in World War II – and did not return home.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • All of our Veterans-related programs will be hosted at the Beltrami County History Center Meeting Room and are FREE to attend, but space is limited!  For more information about the Beltrami County Veterans exhibit or related programs, please contact Beltrami County Historical Society: 218-444-3376, or depot@beltramihistory.org.

    Veterans receive FREE ADMISSION to the museum on Veterans Day, November 11

  • On Thursday, November 17 at 12:00 PM, the Historical Society welcomes veteran Gary Guggenberger as our Brown Bag History speaker.  Gary will present on his experiences as a POW in Vietnam.
  • Additionally on Friday, November 11 at 6:00 PM, community members are invited to AirCorps Aviation for their special Veterans Day Program Restoring History.  Hear the stories behind the WWII aircraft that AirCorps Aviation is bringing back to life, right here in Beltrami County.  This FREE program is part of AirCorps Aviation’s Veterans Day Open House.


September 28
November 19
Event Category:


Beltrami County Historical Society
130 Minnesota Ave SW
Bemidji, MN 56601 United States
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