Saturday, May 18, 2013

International Museum Day

Guns used by Organized Crime
Many museums celebrate the International Museum Day worldwide around May 18 every year since 1977. The theme for 2013 is: Museums (memory + creativity) = social change.

I chose my postcard US-1987864 to mark the occasion. The guns on the card, displayed at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, were used by organized crime. The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, as the Mob Museum in full, is dedicated to the contentious and intertwined relationship between organized crime and law enforcement within the historical context of the historical Las Vegas and the rest of United States. I visited the museum on November 3, 2012, and learned from the Kefauver Committee hearings that there were intimated connections between organized crime and corrupted police, politicians, justices, prosecutors and organized labor; that the public faces of organized crime you seen could be your neighbor, your boss, your co-worker, your doctor or your banker; and that innocent by-standers were often hurt. Exhibits also highlights on Mob violence, casino money skimming operations, and wiretapping and monitoring technics by law enforcement. 

Back to the theme of this year's International Museum Day, with the memory (the mob history) + creativity (technology advance), we are facing a fast track social change in Las Vegas and beyond. The advance of technology stimulates innovations, yet it aids organized crime to pull off certain criminal activities such as identity theft with ease that were once difficult to achieve. We also face the lose of privacy and civil liberties as law enforcement's over-zealous appetite for information and absolute power in the name to counter terrorists and to fight crimes. We witness that pursuit have resulted in abuse from time to time.   

Therefore, by celebrating the International Museum Day, we can use history as a mirror to learn from the past and to protect our future with our creative mind and rapid advancing technology.

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas
On a side note, The building where the Mob Museum is located, was constructed between 1931 and 1933. Opening on November 27, 1933, it served as a post office, and as a court house of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 10, 1983. The building was restored and renovated into the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (the Mob Museum) in February 2012.

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