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Patricia Huffman Smith Museum Opens

The Patricia Huffman Smith Museum to honor the seven astronauts who perished in the Shuttle Columbia tragedy has opened in East Texas.

In February 2003, Hemphill and its vicinity were one of the key search areas for debris from the space shuttle Columbia. The community contributed greatly to assist NASA in accomplishing an unprecedented air, ground and water search. The community’s dedication was instrumental in the recovery of more than 80,000 pieces of the puzzle that were reassembled at Kennedy and aided NASA in a successful return to flight.

Al Smith of Sugar Land, Texas, put up the money for the 34 hundred-square-foot museum. It’s named in honor of his late wife who has roots in Sabine County. The museum is attached to the town’s J.R. Huffman Public Library.

Gene Nethery is the museum’s new president.

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