From a worthy but narrow concept to this universal and enduring mission:
"To Engrave in Granite
Collective Memory of Humanity"
Thousands of debt free acres provide ample space for this vast enterprise; in this desert clime which preserves the trace of civilizations, and will represent our own in future millennia. Thus topics are endless, and monument construction should not cease.
" The act of parachuting, measured in seconds, and with mistakes punishable by death, sets a standard for education. In memory of past heroism, and in the spirit of educating each of us in courage and in discipline, now and in the future, we dedicate the Hall of Fame of Parachuting". This is the entire 1978 dedication speech by Founding Trustee Jacques-André Istel
.These thoughts led him to create the MUSEUM OF HISTORY IN GRANITE, as a World Commemorative Center ®, and design the granite monuments.
His belief that any lasting venture needs a spiritual dimension led to the construction of the 150,000 ton "Hill of Prayer" in order to build the Church on the Hill at Felicity, a moral anchor. Life long friend and fellow Trustee, Wolfgang Lieschke, (a relative of Goethe), sketched an early site design and the Church window. Vocatus atque, non vocatus, Deus aderit.
In 1997, outraged by reports of WWII veterans spending two million dollars for a monument never built, the Trustees, with the immense co-operation of Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, built the granite Marine Corps Korean War Memorial in precisely one year, engraving names of 4617 Marines and 107 Navy Corpsmen who died in the war. This is the first of the historic granite museum monuments conceived by the founder.
From 1999 to 2001, assisted by the Library of Congress, the Service Historique de lArmče de lAir and noted historians, the Museum edited and engraved the Quest for the Sky (Histoire de l'Aeronautique Francaise). The monument, dedicated in 2002, received an Air and Space medal in Europe in 2003. In 2008 the monument was gifted to France and accepted at a formal ceremony by the Consul General from Los Angeles in the presence of Ambassador Daillet.
In 2002, the universal mission, hitherto in the mind of the founder, was published and adopted:
."To Engrave in Granite Highlights of the Collective Memory of Humanity".
In 2003 the monument History of the Foreign Legion, honoring the concept of redemption through danger and suffering, was dedicated.
In 2004 and 2005 the eight monument "History of Humanity" was built. Engraving the 416 granite panels will take some years. 2015 saw completion of over 31% of the text and etchings.
The book "History of Humanity Engraved in Granite Volume I" was published in 2011.
The "History of Arizona" was dedicated in 2010, donated to the State of Arizona with the Deed of Gift read in the Senate.
The book "History of Arizona Engraved in Granite" was published in 2010.
The Dedication of the "History of the United States of America" , whose granite monument was built in 2008 ,took place on 22 February 2014, Birthday of George Washington. The hundred foot monument was gifted to the United States of America with a guarantee of no cost to taxpayers for one hundred years.
The book "History of the United States of America Engraved in Granite" was published in 2014.
The text of the granite "History of California" was fully engraved in 2014 with all 55 etchings completed in late Winter 2015.
The Dedication of the granite "History of California" monument took place on Saturday 19 March 2016. Hosts were this Museum, the Town of Felicity, CA, the City and County of Yuma, AZ and County of Imperial, CA
First United States Team in Moscow 1956 World Championships.
George Bosworth ( faded), George Stone, J.A.Istel (Captain),
Joe Crane (Head of Delegation)
Floyd Hobby, Lew Sanborn, Vic Schraeger (Pilot).
First U.S. Army Free Fall Training Fort Bragg, 1957. Contract with Parachutes Incorporated.(JAIstel, Pres.)
First Complete United States Women's Team 1962
Left to right: H. Lord, M. Simbro, N. Pond (bronze medal) G. Inman, C. Olsen
Team That Set First Official Day And Night World Records For the United States 1961
L to R: N. Pond, J.A.Istel (Team Leader), L. Sanborn, W. Jolly
First Test of a sport parachute from a Jet aircraft
El Centro, CA 1958 (J.A.Istel at right)
Skilled relative work in 1970's
WELCOME to like minded allies
The mission of the Museum of History in Granite admittedly lacks modesty. The more modest ambition of the Trustees is to leave everything in good order for our successors.