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Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, commander of the Third Fleet, was known for his aggressiveness and bold statements. He said no, then added, "I'd hate to have them kill Hirohito's white horse, because I want to ride it."
"I'm happy to have been part of it and I'm happy that it's back here for the state," Weller said. Cord Foundation stepped up to fund the shipping costs.
"We expect it will reach every town in Nevada," Barton said. "We want to reach 100 percent of Nevadans in the sesquicentennial and we want every Nevadan to see (the saddle)."
A World War II relic, crafted in Reno and shipped halfway around the world and back, came home to Nevada after 66 years on Thursday.
The bond sales were over the top and the chamber commissioned Bools Butler at 119 Sierra St. to build the saddle. Fred Lohlein, a saddle maker with more than 50 years experience, was charged with crafting the saddle.
That statement caught the attention of the Reno Chamber of Commerce. Knowing it would bring publicity to the Biggest Little City and raise money for the war effort the chamber said if citizens of Washoe County purchased their quota of bonds in a war bonds drive, it would have the saddle made for Halsey.
Barton said the plan is to have the saddle restored to its original condition, then displayed at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City and, potentially, as part of a mobile museum exhibit during the state's sesquicentennial celebration, which will run from Nevada Day 2013 to Nevada Day 2014.
"It's such a legacy for our state," Sandoval said. "It was very inspirational for many people during the war and a symbol we rallied around in the '40s for World War II. It was a source of national pride for many decades and now to have it home I think is very special for the people of the state of Nevada."
In a ceremony at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Gov. Brian Sandoval opened the crate containing the Halsey Saddle an artifact that combined the wartime patriotism of the citizens of Washoe County and the showmanship of the Converse Classic White Men 1945 Reno Chamber of Commerce with one of the war's most colorful leaders.
"We're honored to have been asked to help get this tremendous treasure back to Nevada and hope everybody enjoys it," said foundation trustee Robert Sims.
Halsey never rode the saddle or the emperor's white horse. The fact is, he wasn't much of a horseman. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Md., where it was displayed for decades.
to Nevada. Working with Peter Barton, administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History and the Reno Council of the Navy League, Weller spearheaded the effort to return the saddle to Nevada.
the major news wire services of the day.
The saddle was completed in the summer of 1945 and, on Aug. 6, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, followed by the second three days later. Japan announced its intention to surrender and the saddle was quickly turned over to the Navy so it could be expedited to Admiral Halsey in Tokyo Bay. It was loaded aboard the USS Missouri in time for the Sept. 2 signing of the surrender documents by the Japanese.
Halsey Saddle comes home to Nevada
20 years ago, the Naval Academy Museum put the saddle into storage and its legacy in Nevada was almost lost to history.
Technically, the saddle is on loan to the state from the Naval Academy Museum for three years. Some, including Weller, would like to see it stay in the Silver State.
The effort made headlines across the country and around the world with pictures of the saddle featured in National Geographic, Life and Western Horseman magazines along with Converse Uk Sale Leather
Several years ago, Washoe District Judge Chuck Weller, researching a book on Nevada's role in World War II, came across the story of the saddle and sparked the effort to return it Converse Silver
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