Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Third Anniversary of an Attack on Arizona History
On Saturday, April 30, 2011, the AHS scheduled an offsite meeting for mineral museum staff. At the meeting, the entire staff was fired, and not permitted to reenter the museum building. The photos on the May 1, 2011 post show the police presence preventing reentry and a contractor changing the locks. Students were scheduled to arrive on field trips the next week, but the AHS appeared not to care.
Subsequently, the AHS destroyed the once top rated mineral museum that began at the 1884 Territorial Fair. They disposed of cabinets, cases, fixtures, furniture, and displays. They also had a contractor prepare to remove the historic mining equipment around the building. A legal challenge was required to save, at least temporarily, the mining equipment, which still stands around the empty building.
The reason for this senseless attack on Arizona history is unknown. Budget considerations were not a factor. Each year since, AHS continues to absorb the entire mineral museum budget provided by public funds.
Coincidentally, the Arizona Republic published a couple of related letters.
Shuttered Ariz. mining museum got a raw deal
Douglas R. Lindsay Sr. Arizona Republic, 6:05 p.m. MST April 26, 2014
Funding cuts not behind mining-museum demise
Dick Zimmerman Arizona Republic 6:26 p.m. MST April 29, 2014
(April 30 print edition)