THE MILITARY MUSEUM’S CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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In 1782, General George Washington created the “Badge of Military Merit” for the enlisted soldiers to be recognized for their meritorious service, though it soon fell into disuse with the end of the war. It was not until 1932, to mark the bicentennial of Washington’s birth, that General Douglas MacArthur spearheaded an effort to revive the medal and call it the “Purple Heart” after the original purple color and heart shape design. Over time, the Purple Heart has undergone many changes with respect to the criteria for being awarded beyond Army and Army Air Corps personnel who were wounded in combat. Today, the Purple Heart is awarded in all active branches of the U.S. Military to those wounded as well as to any member of the military who is killed in action.