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National Park Service Gets Springfield Armory Collection From U.S. Army

Alden Bourne
Gerald O'Keefe, Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, speaks at the Springfield Armory.

A ceremony took place at the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday to mark the transfer of about 5,000 guns owned by the U.S. Army.

The earliest guns date from before the Revolutionary War. Others are from wars the U.S. has fought since — through Vietnam.

The armory was established by General George Washington in 1777, and it developed and produced millions of guns.

For decades, the armory has been a museum run by the National Park Service, but the agency didn't own the collection. Over the summer the Army agreed to change that.

Alex MacKenzie is the armory's curator.

"By formally transferring the museum collection over, we're basically ensuring that this collection will stay here and will stay locally and be able to be interpreted by the park service here on site, as opposed to being picked up and moved somewhere else," he said.

The superintendent of the armory said visitors should see no difference, but that the transfer will make it easier for him to get money from the park service to support the collection.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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