FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – On July 7, 2018, the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex will open the exhibit An Unlikely Refugee: the story of a python named George. Museum staff are excited to feature this interesting story – a true tale that involves a snake, the Vietnam War, and Fort Bragg.

In 1963, a U.S. Special Forces soldier in Vietnam rescued a Burmese python from being eaten by Cambodian mercenaries. Master Sergeant Dewey Simpson and his men transported the snake back to their camp, and eventually back to North Carolina. After a short stay at Fort Bragg, “George” was taken to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, where she (that’s right, George was eventually found to be a female) was the star attraction for 25 years. Many North Carolinians remember a school field trip to the museum and an up-close view of George.

This traveling exhibit from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) was inspired by a recent graphic novel, “An Unlikely Refugee: the story of a python named George.” Written by Morrow Dowdle and her illustrator husband, Max Dowdle, both of whom live in the Triangle. The exhibit features art from the graphic novel as well as informational panels about George and Burmese pythons.

Both Morrow and Max Dowdle, as well as NCMNS’ Exhibit Design Curator Jamie McCargo and Dana Gilooly, Head of NC Science Museums Grant Program, will be at the Museum of the Cape Fear for a special reception at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. George’s rescuer, MSgt. Dewey Simpson, along with his wife Carolyn may also be attending the reception if their schedules permit.

“This exhibit allows us to explore history, science and art with a variety of programs and events,” says David Reid, MCFHC Administrator. “We are very excited to bring this and share it here in Fayetteville.” The exhibit will be on display through December 2, 2018.

Admission is free and the exhibit can be viewed during the museum’s regular operating hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 am to 5 pm; Sun. 1-5 pm. Visit the museum’s website at http://museumofthecapefear.ncdcr.gov for more information.

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The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, located on the corner of Bradford and Arsenal avenues in Fayetteville, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  The museum operates under the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.


About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.