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down town Tucson.
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COURTESY OF DESERT TIMES / MONUMENT NEWS
Tucson Mineral and Gem World
Tucson Mineral and Gem World has served novice to advanced collectors, school districts and hobbyist with minerals, crystals, gifts and many other related items for over 30 years. Our Shop contains over 100,00 items, some general categories are listed below.
As our Webb site grows, new and exciting items will be available right here online. If your planning a trip To Tucson, or Southeast Arizona, please stop in and take a tour of the store.and MUSEUM in the back room.
We're open 7 days a week from 8AM until 5 PM, 365 days a year. We're
located on Kinney road, on the way tOld
Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora
Desert Museum .
WE ARE LOCATED AT 2801 s KINNEY rd. Tucson Arizona
Telephone # 520-578-0488 Email Richard@tucsonmineral.com
Titan Missile Museum
by Ron Ratkevich
If you are looking for some place that is unique and will greatly impress out of town guests, consider the Titan Missile Museum, not far from Green Valley.
The Titan II is a liquid fueled ballistic missile and the largest Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) ever developed by the United States. The original design was developed in 1950's and actual fabrication of the launch complexes began in December of 1960. The first ICBM was lowered in the missile silo in December of 1962. The first unit was handed over to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) on March 31, 1963. Fifty four Titan II missile sites, all became ready for launch by December 31, 1963: 18 of which were installed here at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, 18 assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base (308th Strategic Missile Wing). During the cold war, which lasted for over twenty years, these missiles were maintained and ready for launch. They were always kept loaded with fuel and nuclear warheads in their hardened underground silos. The missiles in these silos within a few minutes from the time an order was received. The underground missile complex was manned by highly trained crews twenty-four hours a day and always ready to respond. They waited patiently, especially at the height of the cold war, for an order that never came.
Each site took about 18 months to construct. The cost of each complex was $ 8.3 million and each missile was priced at $ 2.2 million; so the total cost of each Titan II site was $ 10.5 million, a small cost compared to what construction would have cost today nearby 40 years later .
In 1981, the President of the United States announced that all Titan Is would be phased-out by mid 1987.
The Titan Missile Museum is the only Titan II site that remains intact
today. All other of the 53 sites were dismantled and destroyed. The
nuclear warheads on the missiles destroyed and the Titan II missiles
are still being used to launch communications and weather satellites.
With the exception of the Titan Missile Museum, all of the missile
silos in Arizona were dismantled and backfield by August of 1984.
On May 8, 1986, the Air Force turned this site over to be used as
a museum and it has served the public in that capacity ever since.
Titan Days and Hours Titan Missile Museum is open according to the
Nov. l - Apr. 30: Every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours: 9-5.
May 1 - Oct. 31: Wed. - Sun. Hours: 9-5.
Titan tours last l hour. Starting times: Every half-hour. Last tour:
4 p.m. Days: We d.-Sun.,
May l - Oct. 3l. Walking shoes are required (no heels). Special tours may be arranged for those who have limited mobility and/or need an elevator. Reservations are recommended. Call (520) 625-7736.The Titan Museum is located approximately 25 miles south of Tucson. From Tucson take I-l9 south to Green Valley. Take exit 69 west l/l0 mile past La Canada.
Visitors entry fees are $7.50 for adults 13 years and up, Children 7-12 $4 and Children under 6 are free.
PIMA AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
COURTESY OF DESERT TIMES / MONUMENT NEWS
by Ron Ratkevich
6000 East Valencia Road, Tucson, Arizona 85706: (602) 574-0462 / 0646 (area code changes to 520 on March 19,1995)Fax: (602) 574-9238Conceived in the interest of preserving tangible artifacts of our aviation history for the recreational welfare and education of our present and future generations.
The Pima Air & Space Museum presently exhibits over 200 aircraft and has five large hangars with over 100,000 square feed of space to exhibit aircraft and other aircraft and military memorabilia. Another exhibit hall is an original W.W.II barrack showing of an extensive collection of models, which exhibits virtually all U. S. military aircraft from pre-World War I to the present.
The museum is proud of its international reputation as one of the best aviation museum's in the world. For aviation enthusiasts of all ages, the Pima Air and Space Museum brings history of flight to life.
The Pima Air Museum was conceived in 1966 and a year later the Tucson Air Museum Foundation was incorporated as an educational non-profit organization. A decade later, on May 8, 1976 the museum opened to the public. The museum's opening was made possible because of the hard work of volunteers. In fact, at this first stage it was entirely a volunteer effort. Early on, aircraft were exhibited in a bare desert ground; the only building on the grounds was a small shack used to sell tickets to visitors. There weren't many tickets sold during the first few months after the museum's opening, but now 24 years later about 160,000 visitors a year tour the museum.
The Museum receives no government funds and is supported solely by gate admissions, gift shop sales, memberships and donations. However, the museum admits all school groups grade 12 and below, at no charge. Educational packets and docent tours for the school groups are provided to make the students' visit a rewarding one. Last year, over 6,000 school age children visited the museum.
Hangar #1 is entered after leaving the ticket counter Immediately your eyes catch sight of the rooms centerpiece, an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the aircraft with which the Wright Brothers made history. Other vintage aircraft on display such as the Fock Wulf Fw-44J Stieglitz and the Waco RNF also located in Hangar #1. Exhibits such as "Women in Aviation," "Blacks in Aviation" and a "hands-on" area are popular with those of all ages and are just a few of the exhibits located in this hangar. From the north door of this building can be seen General Eisenhower's "Columbine" and the DC-6 used by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. This DC-6 is open for guided tours and is particularly meaningful to those interested in seeing the actual accommodations for these two important historical figures.
About 100 feet north of the DC-6 is the Space Gallery and Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame building.
In 1991, the Foundation membership voted to change the museum's name to the Pima Air & Space Museum. The Space Gallery features a full-scale mock-up of the X-15, the rocket-powered aircraft that broke the envelope of space. ############
Leaving the Space Gallery and walking southwest past the SR-71 Blackbird, the world's fastest jet aircraft, you arrive at Hangar #3. This hangar houses the B-24 Liberator bomber, one of about 12 known to exist, the B-25, A-26, TG-6 and other World War II-era aircraft. A new display, "World War II Combat Gliders" was dedicated on the 50th anniversary of D-Day June 6, 1994. Immediately south of this building is Hangar #4 which houses the B-29 and C-46 aircraft, among others, and which should open in September of 1994. A formal dedication will be held in October during a reunion of the 330th Bomb Group to which this B-29 was assigned during World War II.
The 390th Memorial Museum is located in the center of the grounds and houses the B-17. Its exhibits detail the unit's World War II operations in the European Theater while assigned to the 8th Air Force. It is a museum within a museum.
With about 65 acres of display area, comfortable shoes are a must. A walk through the museum takes about three hours but one could easily spend all day. Plans are in the works to start a tram operation near the end of August '94.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is located at 6000 E. Valencia Road and is open every day except Christmas day from 9 am. to 5 pm. with the last admittance at 4 pm. Admission charges are: Adults $5.00, Seniors/Military $4.00, Juniors 10-17 $3.00 and children 9 and under are free.
BATTLE OF PICACHO PEAK
by Ron Ratkevich
At Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, a Civil War battle commonly called the "Gettysburg of the West", 1,300 Union determined Union Volunteers routed the Confederate forces, burning supply wagons and bayoneting hundreds of horses and mules. Before making their way back to New Mexico, a company of Confederate forces called the "Arizona Volunteers" marched into Tucson in February 1862 giving Union sympathizers a clear choice: Swear allegiance to the Confederacy or leave the territory. On February 14th of that same year, Arizona seceded from the Union.
California's Union troops were sent to rescue Union troops who were captured in a trap at the Pima Villages near Phoneix. The rescuers were too late, having encountered Confederates at Stanwix Station about 80 miles east of Yuma. A skirmish erupted there with only one soldier wounded, but it was the western most battle of the Civil War.
From the Pima Villages, Union troops were sent to search for Confederates still in the vicinity. On April 15th, 1862, at Picacho Peak, 40 miles northwest of Tucson, Lieutenant James Barrett discover a company of Confederates and a fierce battle ensued. Barrett and two Union soldiers were killed. No Confederate soldiers were killed but five were wounded or captured. The remaining rebels escaped, making their way to Tucson. The entire battle lasted only a few minutes. For those who are Civil War buffs, visit
Picacho Peak, and remember how that war was more than just an eastern-states conflict.
Though this is not a Museum , there is a memorial there and is worth the short stop.
BOY SCOUT MUSEUM
OTIS H. CHILDSTER SCOUT MUSEUM OF SOTHERN AZ.
1937 E BLACKLIDGE DRIVE ,TUCSON, ARIZONA 85719, 520-326-7669
WWW.AZSCOUTMUSEUM.COM #27 IN THE FEDERATION OF SCOUT MUSEUMS INTERNATIONAL, ESTALISHED IN 1986 AND IS OPEN 3 DAYS A WEEK PLEASE CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT OR CHECK THE WEB SITE.
Desert Caballeros Western Museum
The Wickenburg Desert services, the General Store is filled Caballeros
Western Museum with. vintage household products, and celebrates western
heritage has a rooms,. are designed with clothing, diverse and superb
collection .of art house wares, toys, and decorative and artifacts.
Here are many furnishings. important works by renowned Other exhibits
include western American artists including dioramas that explain the
geography Remmington, Russell, Catlin, Moran, and geologic history
of the region, and Bierstadt, Dixon, and. Wieghorst. exhibitions describing
the economic Works by contemporary western development of the area.
Because artists are also well represented. mining was so critical
to the economic Complementing this collection are growth and development
of the area, galleries describing western life, The the Museum features
an exhibit Of Changing Art and History. galleries mining tools, artifacts,
gems and rotate exhibits relating to life, lore, minerals. This dazzling
room is filled and legend, while a new permanent with gold, silver,
turquoise, and other exhibit, "Cowboy Gear," showcases rare specimens,
plus a "black light" the working tools of American display of FLUORESCENT
minerals. cowboys. Artifacts and crafts of the Museum hours: Anasazi,
Pueblo, Hopi, and Apache Monday-Saturday: lO:OOarn-5:OO pm, people
are also on display. Sunday: Noon-4:OO pm. Visitors to the "Hall of
History' experience Arizona life during the late 1800's.(928) 684-2272,Admission:
$5.00 General, $4.00 Agcs 60+, $1.00 Youth (6-16) $4.00 AAA Members.
Storefronts are stocked with period products.