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Longtime MNHS Volunteer Provides Insights into Military Life Memorial Day Weekend

For nearly 10 years, Minnesota History Center volunteer Ted Stamos has brought history alive for visitors of all ages. Stamos, an Air Force veteran, spends his Saturdays inside the "Minnesota's Greatest Generation" exhibit engaging with guests in the multimedia program "This Must Be Hell," where they experience the recreation of a true combat parachute jump from a C-47 plane

flying over Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Stamos greets guests, prepares them for what they are about to experience, and gives a detailed presentation to add a real-life connection to the multimedia program. Drawing on the latest research on D-Day, and using stories of pilots and parachuters, as well as personal reflections from his own service, Stamos helps guests understand the real horror and sacrifices men and women experience during war and the trauma and moral injury many suffer for a lifetime after coming home.

Word of mouth has spread and museum visitors regularly ask for Stamos. Other guests stumble upon his Saturday presentation and come away singing his praises. Danell from Champlin says, "Ted was simply put phenomenal! His taking the time to set the stage, to truly understand the implications and the cost to humanity, was truly inspiring. I speak for our entire group of veterans, his contributions were the best of our day."

Stamos also takes this presentation on the road, meeting with veterans at senior living homes, libraries, and veteran associations. He hopes that this work will provide some help for those suffering from the effects of war.

Stamos began volunteering in 2008 when the Minnesota History Center called for help in refurbishing the fuselage of C-47 plane and turning it into a theater piece for the new exhibit "Minnesota's Greatest Generation," which explores the Great Depression, WWII and the baby boom through Minnesota stories. Stamos and a group of veterans volunteered to dismantle and then refurbish the fuselage of the plane.

Stamos also helped construct a Jenny airplane-the first type of plane aviator Charles Lindbergh owned-that hangs in the History Center, and he helped refurbish a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter for use in "The 1968 Exhibit," which is currently on display. But welcoming guests to the C-47 program remains his passion. Visitors can engage with Ted on most Saturdays, including this Memorial Day weekend.

To date, Stamos has donated 3,300 volunteer hours, saying, "It meets my desire to feel useful and valued in an organizational mission that will leave the world better than I found it, and that primarily benefits my fellow human beings as a result."

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota's past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state's stories and connects people with history. Visit us at

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.


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