LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - General Douglas MacArthur is a renowned figure in history but also in Arkansas.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in downtown Little Rock is key tourist attraction, and offers a rich history, not only about MacArthur and World War Two, as well as Arkansas heritage.
Saturday, January 26 would have been General MacArthur's 133rd birthday and in honor of that event, the Museum hosted Dr. Paul Fair, one of the last surviving members of the Honor Guard which protected General Douglas MacArthur and his family during World War II.
Dr. Fair, a native of Okolona, is also the only member of the original honor guard to come from Arkansas.
THV's Matt Buhrman sat down with Dr. Fair to talk about General MacArthur and his time in the illustrious Honor Guard.
"I was a sergeant at the time so my conact with the General, a five-star general, was limited," says Dr. Fair. "But through observation I believe he could be described as a brilliant tactician, military wise of course. But I thought he had an ego, unsurpassed. Either from his performance as a general or his later political ambitions."
The duties of the Honor Guard included guarding the offices of MacArthur and his staff at City Hall, as well as Casa Blanca, the General's home.
Dr. Fair remembers one particular moment during his guard duty when he was in Tokyo, Japan at the building that housed General MacArthur's office.
"At one o'clock in the morning I was doing my duty but I could not find the person who was supposed to be guarding the General's office. After looking around a bit, I went into the office and found this soldier with his feet up on the desk, sitting in the chair, smoking the General's corn-cob pipe."
The MacArthur Musuem is located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas's military history at home and abroad.
(Source: MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History)