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Naval Academy Museum Commemorates 40 Years of Female Midshipmen

Naval Academy calss of 2019

Thursday marks 40 years since women were inducted into U.S. service academies.

To commemorate the anniversary, the Naval Academy Museum is opening "Ability, Not Gender," an exhibit to highlight the experiences and accomplishments of female midshipmen and graduates.

"It focuses on the social, academic, athletic and military challenges and achievements of Naval Academy women," the academy said in a release. "The exhibit highlights the strength, determination and characteristics they upheld within those four themes."

More than 50 items will be on display, including uniforms, letters and sports and academic memorabilia, the academy said.

In 1976, there were 81 women out of 1,300 inductees, the academy said. On Thursday, 331 women are part of the 1,184 plebes in the Class of 2020.

Museum curators said they met with graduates from the past 40 years.

"In a way, this is the first time we've crowd-sourced exhibit concepts," said project lead and Museum Curator Tracie Logan.

The exhibit will be on display through May 31. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Next year, the museum will commemorate the centennial of Navy and Marine Corps participation in World War I.

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