This May, the History of Diving Museum celebrates past and active military service members through special programming and visiting opportunities.

Since opening in 2005, the History of Diving Museum’s founders, Joe and Sally Bauer, instituted a program to extend free admission to active duty military service members. The museum’s military outreach expanded when they joined the Blue Star Museums program at its inception in 2010. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the Defense Department, over 2,000 museums participate annually with a goal to help service members and their families enjoy the nation’s national heritage and learn more about their communities.  

During the Blue Star Museums summer program, active military and up to five of their immediate family members receive free entry to select museums all around the country from Armed Forces Day in May to Labor Day in September. Even if the active member is deployed, spouses and dependents can participate by showing a proper ID card. Over 2,600 individuals have benefited from these programs by visiting the History of Diving Museum alone.

An opportunity is available for military families to spend quality time together over the summer while getting to know one of the best kept secrets of the Florida Keys. The History of Diving Museum displays the rich history of “the quest to explore under the sea,” including the remarkable South Florida connection to this untold story. Exhibits highlight all branches of the military as well as male and female diving pioneers. 

The museum is grateful for a second year of additional sponsorship by museum member and long-time supporter, Liz Bonness. She has family ties to the military, including her daughter who is currently serving. She believes in providing the opportunity for local military families, as well as those traveling to the Keys, to have fun and enjoy the museum.

On Wednesday, May 19, the museum will be hosting its monthly virtual Immerse Yourself presentation with retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Martha Herb at 7 p.m. Herb will be sharing how she became one of the first three women officers to graduate from the Naval School of Diving and Salvage in Washington D.C. She will discuss the type of work she did and how that has created opportunities for future Navy divers.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Martha Herb. CONTRIBUTED

The museum and Herb will be co-hosting the presentation live through a private Zoom meeting. If you are interested in joining, email, Emily Kovacs, community outreach coordinator, at [email protected] or call the Museum at 305-664-9737 to receive the Zoom Meeting number and password. “Spaces” will be limited, so you must register to reserve your spot. HDM will stop taking reservations when there are 100 registered participants. The session will be recorded and posted on the HDM YouTube page.

The History of Diving Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Islamorada (MM83). It is a must-see for anyone traveling along Overseas Highway. Divers and non-divers alike are amazed by over 4,000 years of “the quest to explore under the sea.” Special events and programs tied to the Diving In Pop Culture Featured Exhibit will include lectures, a children’s book club, film screening, and more. Check out DivingMuseum.org to find out more, become a member or shop at the unique Museum Store.

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