Raleigh Fire Museum 

Raleigh Fire Museum Special Event on Saturday for Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, the Raleigh Fire Museum is conducting a special event this Saturday, February 8, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The museum will feature multimedia displays about African American Heritage in the Raleigh Fire Department.

Through videos and photos, visitors will learn about the city’s black firefighters beginning with the volunteer fire companies of the 19th Century, and continuing with the first career black firefighters hired in 1963.

Members of the United Professional Firefighters of Raleigh (UPFFR) will also be participating in the event, and assisting with operating the museum. At 1:00 p.m., the UPFFR will make the presentation of a framed photo to representatives of Raleigh’s African American Cultural Complex.

The photo is a montage of portraits of retired and fallen black firefighters that served the Raleigh Fire Department from 1963 to 2013. Since the hiring of Larry Gene Williams in February 1963, over 165 African-Americans have served in sworn and civilian positions.

The Raleigh Fire Museum is located in a modular classroom at the Keeter Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive. On Saturday, high-rise firefighting drills will be conducted. Visitors can watch firefighters and fire apparatus in action, while visiting the museum.

Admission to the Raleigh Fire Museum is free. Parking on Saturday will be on the street. Restrooms are also available. Learn more about the museum, and the non-profit organization that operates it, at www.raleighfiremuseum.org.

Please note that antique fire engines are located elsewhere. Both the museum's 1961 American LaFrance pumper and the city's collection of antique fire apparatus is housed at at Fire Station 28 at 3500 Forestville Road. Visitors are welcome. Or schedule a tour at www.raleighfiremuseum.org/tours.

Newspaper headlines from late 19th and early 20th century

Larry Gene Williams, first career black firefighter hired in 1963
News & Observer photo

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