THE AMERICAN PIGEON MUSEUM OPENS IN OKLAHOMA CITY
Nation’s Only Museum Devoted to the 5,000 Year History of Humans Raising Pigeons
Celebrates with Special Events - June 13 & 14
Oklahoma City, OK – May 20, 2014 – More than twenty years in the making, the world’s first public museum dedicated to domestic pigeons is slated to open in mid-June in Oklahoma City. The American Pigeon Museum (www.theamericanpigeonmuseum.org) is housed in a new 6,000 square foot building overlooking the Remington Park Race track. The site was acquired for the museum and national headquarters for pigeon organizations in 1993. Over the years, existing buildings on the site have been converted to house artifacts chronicling humans’ 5,000 year relationship with the bird. The museum will host two days of special events to celebrate its opening on June 13 & 14. The new museum, managed by curator Lorrie Monteiro, is the result of combined efforts by different North American pigeon groups to create a showcase for the many breeds of pigeons and doves that are kept as pets worldwide. “We’re delighted to be opening for the 2014 tourist season,” said Monteiro. “The array of exhibits will give visitors a clear picture of the breathtaking scope of varieties and uses pigeons have been put to over the centuries.”
According to Monteiro a central component of the museum is the fascinating history of the thousands of homing pigeons that served American forces from the First World War through Korea. “To this day there is still no more secret message system than these silent, undetectable birds carrying information from the battlefield back to headquarters,” said Monteiro. Other exhibits show the hundreds of varieties of breeds developed by humans and the many famous people including Roy Rogers, Yul Brenner, Walt Disney and Queen Elizabeth who have kept the birds.
Some of the fascinating artifacts and exhibits relating to this little-known hobby and art include:
- Chinese Pigeon Whistles – not meant to call the birds but to make music in flight, these amazingly complex devices date back 1,000 years.
- WWI and WWII memorabilia from the US Army pigeon service and pigeoneers including an actual army mobile pigeon loft
- Large collection for pigeon race clocks dating from 1904 to the 1980’s
- Large collection of photographs of clubs and birds. (New collection from George De La Nuez and Layne Gardner.)
The special opening, the museum’s Kick-Off Summer event, will be on June 13th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as well. Special events include the showing of several films by international award-winning filmmaker Jim Jenner (often referred to as “Lord of the Wings”). One of the original Board members who selected Oklahoma as the site of this unusual museum, Jenner will be premiering a film entitled “Young Wings.” Produced over four years, the short production traces Jenner’s own involvement with pigeons as a young boy and his subsequent quest to see if pigeons could be effective in combating what psychologists call “Nature Deficit Disorder” in children. He will also be showing his one hour “The Queen’s Wings,” a highly acclaimed documentary that traces the more than 125-year history of England’s Royal Family in the pigeon sport and the special race that honored the Queen’s 60th Jubilee in 2012. “The Queen’s Wings” will have two free showings both Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. followed by the 20-minute “Young Wings.” Jenner will be on hand to discuss the making of these films and his work with helping young people enjoy pigeon keeping.
Additional events during the opening include:
- 1:00 p.m. both days - a presentation the centennial anniversary of WWI of the vital role pigeons played in wartime communication. Rare 16 mm footage from the war will be screened.
- Local food trucks will be on the grounds to offer a range of tasty treats
The museum is located at 2300 NE 63rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73111. Complete details on the museum and the opening events can be found at www.theamericanpigeonmuseum.org.
For more information, contact:
The American Pigeon Museum
(405) 478-5155 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(503) 333-2049 / email@example.com