Football and America exhibit travels to Columbus


The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Football and America exhibit has traveled to Columbus, Ohio.  The exhibit opened on Thursday and will remain on display at the Ohio Statehouse through mid-November. 

Football and America, which debuted at the NFL Experience in New Orleans, Louisiana as a part of the Super Bowl XXXVI celebration, explores the many ways in which the NFL and its players have responded to America's call during times of national crises and military conflicts.

Following a three-day stay at the NFL Experience, the Football and America exhibit moved to the New Orleans' D-Day Museum before reopening at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.  The exhibit remained at the Hall through January of this year.

Football and America chronicles the contributions and sacrifices made by the NFL and its players during national emergencies. It recalls stories like how the NFL, while struggling for its own survival during World War II, generated millions of dollars in War Bond sales, and donated the revenues from 15 exhibition games to service charities. It recounts how, in 1966, the NFL became the first sports organization to send groups of players to Vietnam as a part of the NFL/USO "goodwill tours."

Also documented are stories of personal sacrifice made by players who interrupted or delayed their pro football careers to first serve their country as members of the military.

Acts of heroism, like that of pro football's three Congressional Medal of Honor winners Maurice Britt, Joe Foss, and Jack Lummus are recognized, as well as inspirational stories like that of Chicago Cardinals fullback Mario "Motts" Tonelli, who survived three and one-half years as a World War II prisoner of war.

Football and America also chronicles how the NFL has used its game and resources to raise America's collective level of patriotism during and after such national crisis as the Iranian hostage situation, the Gulf War, and most recently following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Brought to life through the use of film, artifacts, and photos from the Hall of Fame's collections Football and America features as its centerpiece an honor roll that lists the more than 1,200 known NFL personnel who were members of the armed forces during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War.

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