This year marks the 80th anniversary of the US Army’s adoption of the M1 Garand Rifle, produced at Springfield Armory, and a major contribution to United States’ victory in World War II.
The Armory was the birthplace and major producer of the rifle, delivering over 3.5 million by the end of the war. It was one of the largest employers in the area, with over 14,000 employees at the peak of wartime production, about 42 percent of them were women, an important factor for introducing women into the local workforce.
In commemoration, the Springfield Armory Alliance is sponsoring a talk and virtual tour of the birthplace of the M1 at Springfield Armory, on October 22.
The speaker is author and researcher Bruce Canfield, author of The M1 Garand Rifle and 11 other books on US military weapons. The virtual tour will be presented by Alex Mackenzie, Curator of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. The event, like the Armory Historic site itself, is designed to appeal to people of a wide variety of interests, not just local, military or firearms history.
- Date and time: October 22, 2016, 8:30-12:00 AM
- Location: Springfield Armory National Historic Site, 1 Armory Square, Springfield, MA
- Sponsor: The Springfield Armory Alliance, the support group for the Springfield Armory NHS.
- 08:30 – Registration
- 09:15 – Welcome
- 09:30 – The Design and Adoption of the M-1 Rifle, Bruce Canfield, author of “The M1 Garand Rifle”
- 10:45 – Break
- 11:00 – A Virtual Tour of the locations used in the Design and Manufacture of the M1 Rifle at Springfield Armory, Alex Mackenzie, Curator, Springfield Armory NHS
- 11:50 – Closing Remarks, James Woolsey, Superintendent, Springfield Armory NHS
- Program fee:
- General public: $15.00
- Springfield Armory Alliance members, Smith & Wesson employees, and Smith & Wesson Collectors Association members: Free
This program is made possible by an educational grant from the Smith & Wesson Corporation.
In addition to this special program, visitors can enloy the permanent and special exhibits on display at the Armory, including “A Century of Service.”
This exhibit, dedicated to the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, will highlight the compelling connection Springfield Armory has with other NPS sites through the history of firearms and the park’s unique museum collection. There are pistols from the Alaska National Parks, which were used to protect rangers and visitors from bears, another which was issued to a Director of the National Park Service, a shotgun which on September 11, 2001 was used to defend the Federal Hall National Memorial, and one of Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite rifles: a Model 1903 sporting rifle made by the Armory in 1905 and carried by Roosevelt for 10 years on three continents. This rifle was formerly on display at Roosevelt’s Long Island home, Sagamore Hill.
Visitors are invited to interact with a giant map of the United States. This map will be coded with images and Springfield Amory Museum case numbers, showcasing the Armory’s connections to the other 411 National Parks.
Parking and Admission to the Armory site are free. The Springfield Armory Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/SPARNHS/