A visit to or from the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is an exciting, educational experience for students and teachers alike. The Veterans Historical Center cordially welcomes student groups and is a regular destination for schools throughout the vast Twin Ports region. There are several ways to experience the Center even including the Center visiting your school. We look forward to helping plan your visit and will assist choosing the best type of experiences for your particular school group. Please read through the following information carefully and then contact us with any questions, or when you are ready to schedule your visit.
The Center includes 22,000 square feet honoring WWII and later generations,
both at home and on the front lines, who have served and sacrificed to protect
our freedoms. Named for America’s Ace of Aces and Medal of Honor recipient,
Major Richard I. Bong, the Center is located in Major Bong’s birthplace of
of Superior, Wisconsin.
Types of Visits/Tours/Experiences Available
(Please select from the following Menu)
- School Visit to Center – Self-Guided Tour: Groups are welcome to tour at their own pace but we do ask that school groups have an appropriate number of chaperones to maintain order.
- School Visit to Center – Docent-Guided Tour: View our exhibits with the assistance of our trained Docents who will walk your group through our Center Galleries. It may be more convenient to divide larger groups into more manageable units numbering up to 15 people.
- School Visit to Center – Short Video on Pearl Harbor: Our Pearl Harbor Theater can offer your school group a screening of Pearl Harbor: “So We Have A War”. This is an original 15 minute Documentary Presentation focusing on December 7, 1941 and some of the events leading to the surprise attack by Japanese Forces.
- School Visit to Center – “Squad Training”: “Squad Training” is our premier school group experience. Students are divided into groups. Each group will receive a clipboard with questions. The student groups will have to locate the answers to the questions throughout the galleries.
- Center Staff Visit to School: If your school has budget constraints, a more cost effective alternative may be for Center Staff to visit your location. However, the Center will not go beyond a 100 mile radius from Superior. There is no charge for the first 20 miles of travel to your location. After that, there is a charge of 51 cents per mile to and from the site. If the Center is traveling large distances, we like to include as large a number of students as possible.
The following experiences can be selected whether you are planning a visit to our Center or thinking about Center Staff visiting your school.
- Biography of Major Bong: Center Staff can offer a biography – short or long – of Major Richard I. Bong (1920–1945). Major Bong was born in Superior, Wisconsin and during WWII earned the moniker “America’s Ace of Aces”. He was also a Medal of Honor recipient.
- "Traveling Footlocker” Presentation: Our Center’s “Traveling Footlocker” can provide your students unique hands-on opportunities to study the history and lessons of WWII and later generations by exploring military artifacts.
- “Oral History” Presentation: Our “Oral History” collections take history beyond the pages of textbooks and into the hands of curious students. If feasible, the Center can even arrange for a Veteran to present their own “Oral History”, providing a fresh insight into the everyday life of a military member. This is an excellent opportunity for high school students, who may be interested in a future military career, to hear first-hand about a military experience.
- Lesson on Flag Etiquette: The Center is proud to present a lesson on proper Flag Etiquette. Students will be taught how to treat and respect our Nation’s Flag. For your perusal, the flag is respectfully raised at a ceremony at 9 a.m. every Friday at the Center by the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post #435 and other Veterans. The ceremony is part of the Center’s “Flags of Honor Program” honoring the life and memory of a deceased Veteran. This would be an outstanding experience for students to witness. If feasible, students may consider honoring their own Veteran that day as part of the “Flags of Honor Program”.
- Military History Mini-Lessons: The Center’s Education Outreach Coordinator can produce and present mini-lessons on Military History subjects from World War II to the present. The Center has a multitude of books, videos, oral histories, and artifacts that can be utilized. The videos include Pearl Harbor: “So We Have A War” and P-38 in the Pacific.
Specific Notes for School Visits/Tours/Experiences
- Center Admission Price: School groups receive a special discount rate of $5.00 per student. School group rates apply for Elementary, Middle, High School, and College student groups. Civil Air Patrol, JROTC, and ROTC groups will be charged the student discount rate. Complimentary admission is provided to bus drivers for all groups. For every 15 students the Center gives a free adult admission ticket. This is geared towards teachers and chaperones. Otherwise, the cost is $7.00 for adults.
- Early or off-hour admission to the Center can be arranged.
- The Center is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Please contact the Center if you have students or adults with special needs.
- Videotaping is strictly prohibited. Photographs are allowed without a flash. Backpacks must be left on buses.
- The Center boasts a small, but comprehensive Gift Shop. Students are allowed in the Gift Shop with adult supervision. When planning your visit, time can easily be allocated for students to rotate through the Gift Shop.
- Scheduling: Please schedule well in advance (at least two weeks, if possible), especially for docent-guided or “Squad Training” visits. The Center relies heavily on a wonderful team of volunteers to help us with school tours and they need time to arrange their personal schedules.
- Lunch: Many school groups decide to use the adjacent city park for their lunch. In the event of inclement weather, it may be possible to utilize the Center’s classroom space for lunch as well. However, it is imperative that you reserve this option as other events might be already scheduled in the classroom. The Center DOES NOT provide meals or drinks for groups. Meals and drinks are the sole responsibility of the group.