The Stars and Stripes National Museum and Library in Bloomfield, Missouri

In November 1861, in the early stages of the Civil War, 10 Union soldiers from southern Illinois took over the vacant print room of the Bloomfield Herald to establish a new publication, The Stars and Stripes.

The Stars and Stripes National Museum and Library celebrates not only the military paper’s origins, but also its writers and photographers and the roles they played in some of history’s most pivotal moments. The museum’s 7,000 square feet of exhibition space is filled with memorabilia, uniforms, flags, replica trenches, military vehicles, letters, photographs, and more.

The Vietnam War room features the Navy jumper and AK-47 used by Gary Cooper, who captured captivating photos of a significant firefight, illustrating the risks and challenges that military journalists faced. You can also see the historic field jacket worn by Stars and Stripes journalist Steve Kroft, who was a correspondent photographer. 

The Modern Era section illustrates changing technologies, showcasing one journalist’s portable laptop from 1984. Historic editions of the paper show coverage of conflicts in recent history, including the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center towers, as well as conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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