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An Unlikely Pair

Signal Corps Bulletin 104, from April-June of 1939, lays the evidence of an unlikely friendship between the American Museum of Natural History and members of Fort Monmouth’s very own Signal Corps.  F. Trubee Davison, President of America’s premier natural history organization, wrote a letter to Colonel Dawson Olmstead, the Commanding Officer of Fort Monmouth at the time, in January of 1939. In it Davison expresses his gratitude for the Signal Corps participation in the Museum’s educational program “New Horizons”, which was broadcasted via radio to school rooms around the country.

The Museum, located in Manhattan, was founded in 1869 with the purpose of “discovering and interpreting, through research and education, knowledge about human cultures, the natural world and the universe”.

Letter from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY, to COL Olmstead, Commanding Officer at Fort Monmouth, 1939.

In December of 1938, the “New Horizons” broadcast featured Fort Monmouth Soldiers Major Water C. Ellis, Staff Sergeant Clifford Poutre, Master-Sergeant Reubin Abramowitz and Private Haggie in a discussion about Homing Pigeons and the Army’s peace time activities. Although the details of the program were not provided, the letter alludes to the success of the broadcast and speaks highly of the military personnel involved.

More recently the Department of Defense has had a continued relationship with AMNH, donating ten million dollars to the institution from 2005-2009. This money comes from DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.  The Museum’s common bond with both DARPA and the Signal Corps is the importance all of these institutions place on the advancement of science for the betterment of our society.

Note: This post written by Norma Jean Garriton, Staff Historian, and posted by Chrissie Reilly.

Posted in From the Archives.

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