Special Exhibits

Looking Back at WWI

The Grand Opening of the exhibit occurred on Saturday, April 8th, 2017, where visitors were greeted at the door of the Museum with WWI flute music by Barbara Dabinett and veteran Jack O’Brien.

Dan Myers, Borough Historian, welcomed Mayor Druetzler and other special guests and thanked all of the Museum staff and members that contributed to developing this outstanding ‘Looking Back at World War I’ display. He then asked Howard Leach, Treasurer, and James Morgan, Secretary, of the Shooting Star Chapter 195 to introduce Keith and Peggy Ferris and to dedicate a Keith Ferris print entitled ‘Old Number One’ of WWI ace Eddie Rickenbacker in his WWI SPAD XIII with the 94th Squadron numeral ‘1’ and insignia ‘Hat in the Ring’ to the Morris Plains Museum.

It was dedicated with the following plaque text. ‘ Dedicated on April 8th, 2017, by the Shooting Star Chapter 195 of the Air Force Association in memory of former president, SSgt Robert E. Hodges, USAF, of Denville, NJ, and former member, Capt Arthur Raymond Brooks, USAAS, WWI ace, of Summit, NJ, and to honor member, Keith Ferris, of Morris Plains, NJ, who created the 25 by 75 foot “Fortresses Under Fire” and the 20 by 75 foot “Evolution of Jet Aviation” murals in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, has 63 major paintings in the Air Force Art Collection, was inducted into the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame, and who was enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame as the “Dean of Aviation Art.”

L-R: Mayor Frank Druetzler, Peggy Ferris, Jim Morgan, Keith Ferris, Howard Leach, and Tom Jones, former Supt. of Schools who had the Ferris’s son as a student in the Parsippany School System.

For more about Keith Ferris, visit his web site at:


The Shooting Star Chapter 195 is named after the shooting star emblem on the SPAD XIII planes of the 22nd Aero Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group, American Expeditionary Forces, designed by the Squadron’s leader, Capt Arthur Raymond Brooks, USAAS, WWI ace, of Summit, NJ. He was the last living WWI ace of 56 American WW I aces. Photos of him with his SPAD XIII No.20 in 1918 with the shooting star emblem are shown on the wall next to the “Old Number On” print along with a photo of the restored plane in the National Air and Space Museum.

The ‘Looking Back at World War I’ exhibit includes a collection of Leslie’s newspapers, model WWI airplanes, period photographs, uniforms, dog tags, a rifle, family artifacts, a tribute to local veterans and much more. It starts with the following display with the date of April 6th, 1917, the US entry into WWI, as displayed in headlines on three newspapers below along with cover of Leslie Newspaper showing soldiers uniforms from all wars and four posters calling for volunteers to join the Army, Marines and Navy respectively.

The Museum has a beautiful collection of 72 issues of Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper dating from 1917 thru 1919 in excellent condition that were donated by Irving C. Barton. They were the oldest illustrated weekly newspaper in the U.S. established on December 15, 1855. Many of the Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper issues and copies of articles relating to WWI subjects are on display throughout the exhibit.

The following photos give a very brief view of the various sections of the display.  This section is on the weapons and generals.

This section is on efforts to support WWI with a request to be patriotic and buy bonds, women working in typically male jobs, youth working on farms, etc.

This section is on uniforms and a 100-year-old unopened bottle of French Perfume.

This section is on soldier and sailor training, formations, and decorations.

Please consider visiting this ‘Looking Back at World War I’ exhibit before it closes on Armistice Day, Nov 11th, 2017.

Come visit us on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Saturday of the month!