Marine Corps Museum

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Coordinates: 38°52′30″N 76°59′32″W / 38.87500°N 76.99222°W / 38.87500; -76.99222

Marine Corps Museum
Marine Corps Historical Center 001.jpg
Established 1940 (at Marine Corps Base Quantico)
Location 1940–1960
Little Hall
Marine Corps Base Quantico
Quantico, Virginia
Building 1019
Marine Corps Base Quantico
Marine Corps Historical Center
Building 58
Washington Navy Yard
9th and M Streets
Washington, DC
United States
Type Military History
For the new museum, see National Museum of the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps Museum was located on the first floor of the Marine Corps Historical Society in Building 58 of the Washington Navy Yard, 9th and M Streets (southeast), Washington, D.C. It housed a wide variety of exhibits with artifacts relating to the history of the U.S. Marines. It also contained a collection of art relating to the Marines and a historical Time Tunnel.[1] For many years, the Marine Corps Museum served as an important center for preserving and showcasing the Marine Corps legacy. The museum closed on July 1, 2005 during the establishment of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.


In the early 20th century, the Marine Corps displayed historical items such as captured weapons and flags in war trophy rooms at the Headquarters Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C.[2] In 1940, the Marine Corps established a proto-museum on the second deck of Little Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico.[3] In 1952, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., directed his staff to create a Marine Corps exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution after noticing no such display existed there.[3] The Marine Corps Historical Branch tasked reserve Major John H. Magruder III with developing the exhibit at the Smithsonian.[3]

Upon completion of an exhibit at the Hall of Military and Naval History at the Smithsonian Castle, Major Magruder went on to establish an expanded museum, which opened on September 13, 1960 in Building 1019 next to Little Hall.[3] The Marine Corps Museum continued to expand and eventually moved to Washington Navy Yard in 1977 after closing the Quantico location in 1976.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ United States Senate. "Museums and Galleries in Washington, D.C.", U.S. Senate website. Retrieved on December 21, 2008.
  2. ^ "National Museum of the Marine Corps Collection Rationale", 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Nihart, Brooke. "Major Magruder Sought First Full-Scale Marine Museum", Fortitudine, vol XXII, no. 4 (Spring 1993), pp. 27–30.