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Military museum makes historic name change

6:47 PM, Feb 8, 2012   |    comments
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LARGO, Fla. -- When you visit the Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo you're surrounded by military hardware and military sounds.

After all, the whole place got its start more than 50 years ago when museum founder John Piazza Sr. got a German mortar from WWI. "From that, my collection grew and grew and grew," says Piazza, pointing to a mortar in a display case.

But the museum, jam-packed with military memorabilia, is now dropping the word "military" from its name.

"The new name is going to be the Armed Forces History Museum," announced Piazza at a Wednesday news conference.

Piazza says some people are turned off by the word "military" and he hopes "history" will attract more donors and visitors.

Laurie Larabie, visiting the museum from Canada, thinks he might be right. "Personally, I'd be more interested in going through a history museum than a military museum," she said.

Piazza says there's more to the name change than just semantics. New exhibits will include more cultural information and lessons for school children. "We will have additional types of displays that are not all military oriented, but are part of a general history," he says.

The museum is also talking about expanding and it is actively looking for a new location that will accommodate all the military vehicles and the cars of visitors.

To help celebrate the name change, admission price at the museum will be reduced by $5 on Saturday, February 11th.

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