The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opens an exhibit today commemorating the birth of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, an event that gives the museum its name, and his return on March 23, 1952.
MacArthur lived in the Arsenal Building only briefly as an infant, something the exhibit will note to visitors curious about the connection. The exhibit features two recent acquisitions: Maurice Kellogg's painting of MacArthur, astride a horse in front of the museum, and a 1890 42-star unofficial American commemorative flag that belonged to prominent businessman and politician Logan H. Roots, for whom Fort Roots was named. It was donated by Bert Parke, Roots' great-grandson.
The painting was conserved by Helen Leigh in memory of her late husband, USAF Col. Gilbert Leigh. Artist Maurice Kellogg (1919 — 1984) was a Kansas native who received degrees in art from Kansas University and the Fogg Museum at Harvard, where he specialized in pictorial design. During World War II, he rose to the rank of captain in the infantry and was awarded two Purple Hearts and four citations for gallantry in combat. He moved to Arkansas in 1967 after a 20 year-career as a book designer in Boston.
The flag, which is so large that it hangs from the ceiling of the second floor to the staircase landing on the first floor [I've now learned it is 15-by-7.5 feet], would have been declared official on July 4, 1891, but was made obsolete by the addition of Idaho and Wyoming to statehood, bringing the star count to 44, before the 4th.