The National Museum of the Marine Corps

For all Americans, our thoughts and prayers are with the members of the armed services stationed around the globe. The heroic story of one of the elite branches of the U.S. military—the Marine Corps–has been put on permanent and marvelous display in the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Marine Corps history is featured in a state of the art museum and research study center located on a 135-acre site adjacent to the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico, VA.

It is interesting to note that the birthplace of the Marines was actually a pub located in Philadelphia, PA called the Tun Tavern. Legend has it that Capt. Samuel Nicholas began recruiting Marines in the Tun Tavern on November 10, 1775. Early in America’s history, the Second Continental Congress decided to raise two battalions of Marines. By 1798, an official act of Congress actually created the U.S. Marine Corps.

Post Modern Marvel

The museum’s architecture rivals that of other major national museums and its collections span the centuries and tell the story of the U.S. Marine Corps. The post-modern attention to detail and interest in regionalism all work in tandem in this new military museum destination. Designed by the architectural firm of Fentress Bradburn, the National Museum of the Marine Corps is stunningly visible from Interstate 95. About 20 miles from Washington, DC, the Marine Corps museum’s architectural centerpiece ascends 210-feet high at its pinnacle. It is a dramatic glass and steel structure inspired by the world famous image of a group of Marines raising the American flag over Iwo Jima during World War II. Based on the composition of Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s famous photograph, the overall form of the museum immediately reminds visitors of the struggle, sacrifice, and success of the Marines throughout history.

The USMC museum reflects the dedication of the Marines and highlights the Corps’ rich history. The main entrance plaza stirs memories of approaching a beachhead from military watercraft, the interior skylight space feels like a military ship’s interior and the exhibition galleries use interactive signage, audio/video, and lasers to simulate the Marine experience from boot camp to tour of duty.

Some of the impressive military objects on display include the first and second American flags raised on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima in February of 1945, an F4U Corsair fighter aircraft like those flown by Marines in the Pacific during World War II, and a leatherneck stock worn around the necks of 18th Century era Marines to protect from sword slashes of the throat. “Leatherneck” remains the modern day nickname for Marines.

Beyond Measure

After visiting the National Museum of the Marine Corps, it is my opinion that this museum will quickly become the barometer by which all other major contemporary American military history museums will be measured. This American history museum is a tribute to our brave Marines and a “must-see” tourist destination. This new museum stands sentinel as a vastly important historical learning center, a breathtaking exhibition and preservation space, and a humbling site to behold.

Award-winning TV personality, celebrity Ph.D. appraiser, author, and seasoned traveler, Dr. Lori headlines over 150 world-class events every year around the globe. Learn about her locales and travel tips at, or call (888) 431-1010.

Caption: Exterior of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA.


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