From poppies to porcupines, an eventful day awaits at Nevada State Museum | NevadaAppeal.com

From poppies to porcupines, an eventful day awaits at Nevada State Museum

Guy Clifton
Travel Nevada

Visitors to the Nevada State Museum on Friday, May 25, can make paper poppies and learn the importance of poppies for remembrance from members of the American Legion Carson City unit.

The Nevada State Museum will be abuzz with activity on Friday with behind-the-scenes tours, demonstrations of the historic Carson City Mint coin press, and a collaborative event with the American Legion.

"This is a great time of year to come to beautiful Carson City and visit the Nevada State Museum," Museum Director Myron Freedman said. "Nevada's history and culture is unique and fascinating, and we are kicking off the summer season with something for everyone."

As part of the National Poppy Day Celebration, the museum is teaming with the local American Legion post, in advance of Memorial Day. Participants can learn the importance of poppies for remembrance and learn about the American Legion family. Visitors will have an opportunity to make paper poppies as part of the museum's Poppy Project.

Members of American Legion Unit 4-Carson City and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 4-Carson City will be at the museum sharing the story of the American Legion and National Poppy Day. At the same time the museum will be asking visitors to make paper poppies to contribute to our Poppy Project goal of filling the Dema Guinn Concourse with paper poppies.

The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem In Flanders Fields written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D. He wrote the poem while serving on the front line during World War I to honor soldiers killed in battle.

The poppy making takes place in the Dema Guinn Concourse at the museum and is open and free to the public.

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Meanwhile, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., the museum is offering behind-the-scenes tours in natural history and anthropology.

Curator of Natural History George Baumgardner, leads groups through exhibits featuring plants and animals of Nevada, and into areas of the museum not usually accessible to the general public.

Curator of Anthropology Gene Hattori offers groups an up-close look at the state's impressive Native American basketry collection, including baskets created by the famed Washoe basket maker Dat So La Lee.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., museum staff and volunteers will also be operating and sharing the history of the museum's Historic Coin Press No. 1. The 150-year-old press operated inside the building when it was the U.S. Mint and produced millions of dollars in gold and silver coins.

Today, it presses special medallions. Visitors can purchase silver blanks in the museum's store and have them minted on the coin press.

The Nevada State Museum is located at 600 N. Carson St., in Carson City. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

National Poppy Day Activities are free to the public. Admission for other programs at the museum are $8 for adults; free for museum members and ages 17 and younger. Contact Mina Stafford at 775-687-4810, extension 243 or mstafford@nevadaculture.org for information.