The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 20, 2018


Congressman Sam Johnson donates POW possessions to Smithsonian
Johnson gave the tin cup and toothpaste tube he used while held in one of the prisons the captives nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.” Photo courtesy Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.


WASHINGTON, DC.- On the 45th anniversary of “Operation Homecoming,” the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History accepted a donation from Rep. Samuel Robert Johnson (R-Texas), a fighter pilot who endured almost seven years as a prisoner of war (POW). Johnson gave the tin cup and toothpaste tube he used while held in one of the prisons the captives nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton.”

“I want to thank the National Museum of American History for their work in preserving the stories of our POWs and for accepting this humble donation,” Johnson said. “I also want to give a special thank you to the museum’s director John Gray, as well as Jennifer Jones, who serves as chair for the Armed Forces History Division. Thank you for this beautiful ceremony and for helping make today possible. As Americans, we have so much to be thankful for, including the gift of freedom. As any service member or military family can tell you, that price can be heavy. So let us remember that cost—and remember those who pay it first. In light of the 45th anniversary of Operation Homecoming, I would like to share a quote that was etched on the wall by a fellow captive. It read, ‘Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die that the protected will never know.’ God bless you, and God bless America. I salute you.”

The donation ceremony took place against the backdrop of the Bell UH-1 “Huey” helicopter in the museum’s “Price of Freedom: Americans at War” exhibition. The exhibition includes a section dedicated to the Vietnam War, including the story of American POWs and the torture and deprivation they endured. The North Vietnamese used the POWs as part of a propaganda campaign aimed at destroying U.S. support for the war. The exhibition includes staged photographs of POWs used in such campaigns, pink-and-gray-striped uniforms, and toiletries given to POWs. It also includes objects used by the North Vietnamese in the war and showcases artifacts left by family and friends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In Johnson’s autobiography, Captive Warriors: A Vietnam POW’s Story, he writes about his tin drinking cup:

The only souvenir I wanted from North Vietnam was my drinking cup. For me, it symbolized our war of resistance for seven long years. It had been a means of communication and, as such, a means of survival. It was all I wanted to take home from Hanoi’s prison system. I vowed I’d find a way.

“The Vietnam War was one of the most divisive in our history, and the country and our veterans are still healing from that conflict,” said Jennifer Jones, chair of the museum’s Division of Armed Forces History. “Artifacts such as a simple cup and a tube of toothpaste bear witness to the human suffering and the strength and endurance of American patriots.”

Before Johnson was elected to Congress in 1991, he served 29 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a colonel. He served tours of duty in the Korean and Vietnam wars. While fighting in Vietnam, his F-4 “Phantom” fighter jet was shot down in North Vietnam April 16, 1966, and he was held as a POW for almost seven years.

Later, Johnson and a small group of other POWs, known as the “Alcatraz Gang,” were separated from other prisoners because of their resistance to their North Vietnamese military captors. This group was moved from Hỏa Lò Prison in Hanoi to another facility the Americans called “Alcatraz.” In “Alcatraz,” the men were leg cuffed in windowless concrete 4-by-9-foot solitary cells where the lights were on 24 hours a day. Johnson endured 42 months in solitary confinement.

On Feb. 12, 1973, the “Alcatraz” prisoners and almost 600 additional POWs in North Vietnam were released from captivity during “Operation Homecoming.” The next day, Johnson landed in the Philippines at Clark Air Base. From there, he began his journey home to Texas and embraced his family for the first time in seven years at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls Feb. 17, 1973. Among Johnson’s many awards and decorations are two Silver Stars, three Legion of Merit decorations, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with combat “V,” two Purple Hearts, four Air Medals and the Prisoner of War Medal.

The “Price of Freedom: Americans at War” exhibition surveys the history of the U.S. military from the French and Indian Wars to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, exploring ways in which wars have been defining episodes in American history. The exhibition extends far beyond a survey of battles to present the link between military conflict and American political leadership, social values, technological innovation and personal sacrifice. The heart of the story is the impact of war on citizen soldiers, their families and communities.





Today's News

February 14, 2018

Exhibition at museum in Oxford reveals the history of settlers in Britain

'Lost' Klimt drawing discovered in Austria

Art Institute of Chicago acquires Duchamp's Bottle Rack

The Giacometti Institute to open in Paris on 20 June 2018

Two early portraits by Freud acquired for the nation and allocated to Abbot Hall, Kendal

Rare Beethoven leaf and Newton's instructions for Philosopher's Stone lead Bonhams NY Books and Manuscripts Auction

Christie's announces highlights from the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

North American premiere of Alberto Giacometti exhibition opens in Quebec City

Congressman Sam Johnson donates POW possessions to Smithsonian

Christie's to offer masterpieces by Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri and Thomas Schütte

US judge awards $6.75 mn in damages to graffiti artists

'Women Look at Women' opens Richard Saltoun's new gallery in Dover Street

Julien's Auctions announces "Hollywood: Property from the Osianama Archives"

Rolls Royce once owned by R2-D2 (actor Kenny Baker of Star Wars fame) for sale with H&H Classics

Exhibition brings together 26 artists from the eastern Baltic Sea region

Exhibition examines the environmental, aesthetic, and technological implications of plastic

Exhibition at Vleeshal brings together three artists with similar interests and different voices

Golden Age crooner Vic Damone dead at 89

Ines Doujak transforms LENTOS Kunstmuseum into a fashion store

Exhibition presents a selection of works exploring the archetypes of good and evil characters

Signed items from Jackie Kennedy, Einstein, Lincoln, many more at University Archives' Feb. 21 auction

Sotheby's acquires Viyet, the online marketplace for interior design

Nelson-Atkins hires Hathaway Maranda to lead Development division

Inscribed first edition of The Great Gatsby may bring $100,000 at Heritage Auctions in New York

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Royal Family portraits chosen by HRH The Prince of Wales on display at Buckingham Palace this summer

2.- Exact copy of car that made motor racing history in the 1960s for sale with Aguttes Auctions

3.- Who built Stonehenge? Cremation ashes found near Neolithic monument yield clues

4.- 'Heaven-guided' underground maze proves Armenian tourist draw

5.- Royal Family portraits chosen by HRH The Prince of Wales on display at Buckingham Palace this summer

6.- Display at Tate Modern explores 'Magic Realism Art in Weimar Germany: 1919-1933'

7.- Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says Beijing studio wrecked without notice

8.- Cat abduction from Moscow museum captivates Russians

9.- The Museo del Prado completes the redesign and rehang of its North Wing galleries

10.- Bangladesh photographer sacked over viral kiss photo



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful