Howard Hawks’ award-winning Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper, tells the story of a Tennessee pacifist called to serve in World War I and his return as a war hero, and it’s a story with its own Florida connection.
Born in Manatee County, Lt. Kirby Pelot Stewart served with the real Sergeant York, and his actions in the operation near Chateau Thierry – the operation which led to York’s eventual fame – were integral to its success. When the war concluded, York himself traveled to Bradenton to meet the mother of the man who served so well and commend her son for his service.
Beginning Feb. 21st, The South Florida Museum will dedicate the next month of Film Fridays to such American troops and veterans with the new series “An American Legacy.” A display featuring personal effects from Stewart will accompany this first showing to provide human and historical context.
Created in partnership with the Legacy of Valor campaign – an initiative of the Patterson Foundation – and the Manatee County Veterans Council, “An American Legacy” is the latest in a series of community outreach programs and events set to culminate in the dedication of Patriot Plaza in spring 2014.
The projector rolls for Sergeant York at 6pm on Feb. 21. Tickets cost $3 for museum members and $5 for non-members. An opening reception for ticketholders and invited guests will be held at 5pm.
Future Film Fridays screenings include:
M*A*S*H – Feb. 28
From Here To Eternity – Mar. 7
Rescue Dawn – Mar. 14
So Proudly We Hail – Mar. 21
Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq – Mar. 28.
The South Florida Museum will arrange thematically appropriate exhibits to complement each film, featuring artifacts from both private series and the Museum’s permanent collection.