The National Constitution Center opened a new exhibit on Thursday, March 4th. It focuses on enemies within our borders, from the founding days of the country to the present. Visitors will uncover stories of espionage, treason, and deception in Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America. The exhibit opened March 4th and will run through May 30, 2011; it was created by the International Spy Museum.
Here are some of the highlights:
Through major events and periods in history when America was threatened by enemies within its borders, Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs depicts how responses to domestic attacks have driven counterintelligence measures that continue to affect our everyday lives. Events include:
o American Helps Japanese Pilot Terrorize Hawaiian Island After Pearl Harbor Attack – December 7, 1941
o Kremlin Launches One of the First Cold War Attacks Against the U.S. – April 1945
o Radical Group Explodes Bomb in the U.S. Capitol – March 1, 1971
o Massive Bomb Destroys the Federal Building in Oklahoma City – April 19, 1995
o Beyond September 11th – Terrorism Today
Artifacts, interactive displays, and themed environments accompany these stories. Highlights include:
+ Burnt piece of the White House (1814), on loan from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. [Exclusive to the Center’s showing of Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs.]
+ Anarchist Globe Bomb (replica, c. 1886) presented as evidence in the trial of the men tried in connection with the Chicago Haymarket riot.
+ APL Badge and ID Card (1917) carried by Operatives of the American Protective League (APL) who spied on their fellow Americans on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department during World War I.
+ Ritual Klan Red Robe (c. 1965) worn by the Klan “Kladd,” the elected Klan officer who presided over the secret rituals and ceremonies of the Ku Klux Klan.
+ Glass and granite fragments from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, as well as a shoe that was recovered from the wreckage, on loan from the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. [Exclusive to the Center’s showing of Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs.]
+ Fragments of the Planes that hit the World Trade Center (2001) recovered after the attacks on September 11, 2001, and used as evidence by the FBI in their ensuing investigation.
+ Visitor Polling Stations, unique computer interactives that allow visitors to express their opinions on questions raised in the exhibition about how the nation has responded to the historical events presented. Poll questions were developed in consultation with The Gallup Organization. Visitors also can see how Americans responded to similar questions posed by The Gallup Poll throughout history.
Admission to Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors (ages 65 and up) and students, and $11 for children (ages 4-12). Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates also are available. Admission to the Center’s core exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theater production “Freedom Rising,” is included.