Media Preview of New Exhibit Souvenirs of Service


Wisconsin servicemembers have been collecting souvenirs since the Civil War.
Learn the stories of the things they kept.

MADISON, October 21, 2021 — On November 5, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum will open “Souvenirs of Service: The Things They Kept,” an exhibit featuring objects that Wisconsinites  collected while serving in the armed forces.

The media is welcome to preview the exhibit from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on November 4 and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on November 5.

The items, collected from the Civil War era to modern-day, range from cannon balls and Zippos to swords and dolls. Each is presented along with its captivating backstory. For example, you will find a WWI radio operator from Racine brought home a treasured handmade mandolin, crafted for him by a local French woman and designed with the insignia of his division, the famed 32nd Red Arrow Division. An Eau Claire native who served in World War II sent his wife the nylon parachute with instructions to make it into an evening gown for herself.

The exhibit opens to the public at 10 a.m. on November 5 and remains on view through 2022.
More information is available at