THE SMITHSONIAN TRAVELING PROJECT
The Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition . . . Celebrating Sports in American Communities began its National Tour on January 2014. The Tour Kicked-off Super Bowl Week at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in New Jersey on December 5, 2013, Exhibits featured Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track & Field, Soccer, Hockey, Bowling, Kickball, Surfing and other various sports. People from around the country are drawn to compete in these sports and many others. Still more gather on the sidelines to cheer for their favorite athletes and teams.
Nowhere do Americans more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns. The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program celebrate's this connection in the new traveling exhibition “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America.”
A partnership of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils, traveled five copies of “Hometown Teams” on simultaneous yearlong tours of Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey and West Virginia beginning in January of 2014.
The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J., was the first to open on Jan. 29, 2014, just four days and 10 miles away from MetLife Stadium, home to Super Bowl XLVIII Feb. 2.
The exhibition is slated to travel to 180 small towns in 30 states in six years. The full tour itinerary can be viewed online at MuseumOnMainStreet.org, and a short video about the exhibition can be viewed on this site.
“Hometown Teams” will capture the stories that unfold on the neighborhood fields and courts, and the underdog heroics, larger-than-life legends, fierce rivalries and gut-wrenching defeats.
For more than 100 years, sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and helped shape the national character. Whether it is professional sports or those played on the collegiate or scholastic level, amateur sports or sports played by kids on the local playground, sports are everywhere in America.
This project gives communities an opportunity to share these stories, celebrate local legends and collect memorabilia from the community. With the support and guidance of state humanities councils, these towns will develop complementary exhibits, host humanities programs and facilitate educational initiatives about sports and ideals such as team work, fair play, leadership and respect.
United States cities are invited to share their local sports stories through the “Stories from Main Street” website at www.storiesfrommainstreet.org or through the free mobile app available from the Mac App Store or the Google Play Store. Both platforms record and map the location reflected in the submission and will accept written and audio stories as well as videos and photos.
Selected submitted stories to “Stories from Main Street” will be featured on the website and app. The archived stories will serve as a searchable record of the unique experiences of life in American small towns. Each story can be searched via location or by topic. Museum on Main Street is a partnership of the Smithsonian institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils. It was created to serve museums, libraries and historical societies in rural areas, where one-fifth of all Americans live. The partnership with the state humanities councils was formed as a creative response to the challenge faced by these rural museums to enhance their own cultural legacies. Venues are encouraged to supplement the exhibitions with objects, stories and programs that celebrate local heritage and inspire community pride.
Musing With Cecil Buffington
It has been and will continue to be my thoughts that the history of Jefferson High School has in many cases been defined by the success of their various sports programs since the school was built in 1946. This is an opportunity for those that did not come up through the Jefferson High School heirachy to see where the local high school sports culture and tradition began and how it reached the level of success we currently enjoy in 2017. To those that have been around since almost the beginning it will provide an opportunity to revisit those exciting times as the Jefferson sports programs became so relevant and who the shakers and movers of the JHS sports programs were over the last 70 years.
My compliments to Beth Laughinghouse, Suzie Thurmond, Kathy Bray, Demaris Gurley, Al and Anita Westmoreland, Pat and Joan Williamson, Coach Tim Corbett, Guy Dean Benson, Vicki Starnes and Ceil Jarrett along with many others that have worked to make this an event to remember. And finally, a big "thank you" to all of those that contributed items for display from years past. It will be a fun adventure seeing them.
Make no mistake about it . . . this is a happening that will be of interest to anyone that ever walked the halls of Jefferson High School, had a child or relative attend the school or just has an interest in our Jefferson history. Don't miss it!