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SciTech Tuesday: Konrad Zuse and German Computing

At a time when a ‘computer’ was a job title, most numerical calculations during the 1930s and 1940s were made by men and women using slide rules. At Harvard, the Mark I was developed in 1944, and the Colossus at Bletchley Park was developed beginning in 1943. These programmable computers were preceded by the Z1, designed and created by Konrad Zuse in 1938 at his parents’ apartment in Berlin.

The Z1 had limited programability, reading instructions from perforations on 35mm film. Its mechanical components limited the Z1’s accuracy. The Z1 and its blueprints were destroyed by bombing raids in January 1944.

Konrad Zuse, born in 1910 in Berlin and raised in East Prussia, attended Berlin Technical University and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1935. He worked on his computer in isolation from other computing researchers because of the growing economic and political isolation of Germany. In 1939 he was inducted into the Germany Army, and given the resources and charge to build a better computer. The Z2 was completed in 1940 and took up two rooms of Zuse’s parents flat. It used telephone relays to extend its computing power. The German Research Institute for Aviation gave him funding to start a company, and Zuse moved to an office. There he built the Z3 using even more computer relays. This machine more was more flexibly programmable and had memory.

The German government denied funding for Zuse’s computing project, deeming it to have little immediate utility. Bombing raids destroyed the Z2 and Z3, and led Zuse to pack up the almost finished Z4 in February 1945 and ship it to Gottingen. Work to complete the Z4 was halted until 1949. During this hiatus Zuse developed a programming language he called Plankalkül (plain calculus). He had found programming in machine language very difficult, and so wrote the first high-level computing language.

Zuse died of heart failure in 1995. Two years later the Z4 was shown to be Turing-complete.

Posted by Rob Wallace, STEM Education Coordinator at The National WWII Museum.

Images from Wikimedia Commons

Museum Archivists Offer Restoration Resources for Louisiana Neighbors Dealing with Flood Damage

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Many friends of The National WWII Museum have reached out to ask if we have suffered any of the catastrophic flooding occurring elsewhere in Louisiana. We’re happy to report that we have not. The Museum is safe and open to visitors.

Unfortunately, many of our fellow Louisiana residents have been less fortunate. If, like us, you are looking for ways to help, this NOLA.com post lists donation and contact information for many relief agencies doing vital work in the state right now.

As the disaster has unfolded, the Museum’s curators and archivists have been fielding queries about how to save precious photos, books, and documents damaged by floodwater. Museum staffers—who deal with fragile WWII-era artifacts every day, working to preserve every piece for future generations—have been able to offer some valuable insights on salvaging these fragile treasures.

Below, assembled by our archivists, are links to several sites with tips and advice used by professional archivists, records managers, and librarians that can offer helpful guidance for personal collections as well.

Much of the advice can be summed up this way: Separate the damaged items, place them on a flat surface on top of something absorbent, and circulate the air.

Acting quickly is key to preventing mold growth.

Links:

Northeast Document Conservation Center: Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs

Tips on saving water-damaged photographs by air-drying or freezing. Also tips on saving flood-damaged slides.

Northeast Document Conservation Center: Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records

Tips on air-drying wet documents and books.

From The National WWII Museum blog See & Hear: Slow Your Mold: Preservation Tips

Mold-remediation procedures for documents, books, and objects.

Association of Moving Image Archivists: Disaster Recovery for Films in Flooded Areas

Practical and useful information about recovering film after a flood.

 

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Home Front Friday: Honey Rice

Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!

To keep the past alive, and to add some different foods to weekly meals and flavor to our posts, there will be a few Home Front “Foodie” Fridays in which we share our experiences cooking a WWII ration meal from The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book: Wartime Edition. This cookbook was published during the war with substitutes and economically friendly recipes for wartime meals and holds over 400 pages of different recipes. There is also a section at the end of the book dedicated to a weekly layout of how a family of five could be fed on $15 a week.

Front page of the Victory cookbook.

Front page of the Victory cookbook.

Since food was highly valued during WWII, a lot of different ingredients were rationed. The first of these foods was sugar. Its rationing began in the spring of 1942, and many recipes had to change. Whether in the home or at a restaurant, whomever prepared the meals needed to find a way to replace ingredients like sugar with a substitute that tasted just as good if not better. In the case of sugar, items like honey, maple syrup or corn syrup were used. If honey was used in place of sugar, the recipe would call for half the amount of honey as it would sugar as well as a quarter less amount of water.

WWII ration propaganda poster. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

WWII ration propaganda poster. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

By rationing these goods at home, the troops overseas were able to receive items like sugar, flour, and coffee as seen in the photo below. Elaborate foods were not supported during the war, so people stuck to simple dishes. The following recipe for Honey Rice is categorized as a dessert in The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book: Wartime Edition. Simple to make, easy on the budget, and delicious for the taste buds, honey rice is just one example of the types of desserts people were eating on the Home Front during the war.

Flour, sugar, coffee, rice, cookies, and canned goods are distributed after ration breakdown at Hunter Liggett Military Base on  24 March 1944.

Flour, sugar, coffee, rice, cookies, and canned goods are distributed after ration breakdown at Hunter Liggett Military Base on 24 March 1944.

Recipe in The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book: Wartime Edition.

Recipe in The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book: Wartime Edition.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of chopped nuts
  • Cinnamon (whatever amount suits your taste buds)

Step 1: Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Cook the rice in boiling salted water until soft. Drain the rice.

Step 3: Heat the honey in a heavy pan until it’s not as dense.

Step 4: Add the honey and raisins to the cooked rice. Stir and let these cook for 5 minutes.

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Step 5: Pour the mixture into a buttered, shallow baking dish and dot it with butter. Bake in over until the rice is golden brown.

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Step 6: Remove from oven and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.

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Step 7: Top it with cinnamon and chopped nuts.

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This recipe will serve about 8 people. It is a dessert plate, but I paired it with some sauteed chicken, and it was the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Posted by Camille Weber, Education Intern and Lauren Handley, Assistant Director of Education for Public Programs at The National WWII Museum.

Congress Seeks to Recognize the Wereth 11

The US Wereth Memorial in Wereth, Belgium. Belgian civilian Hermann Langer was only 11 years old when he met and helped shelter the 11 men of the 33rd Field Artillery Battalion before their capture and murder. In 2004, Langer established a nonprofit and erected this monument remembering them.  In May 2015, Museum staff and volunteers traveled to the memorial to pay their respects to the Wereth 11.

The US Wereth Memorial in Wereth, Belgium. Belgian civilian Hermann Langer was only 11 years old when he met and helped shelter the 11 men of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion before their capture and murder. In 2004, Langer established a nonprofit and erected this monument remembering them. In May 2015, Museum staff and volunteers traveled to the memorial to pay their respects to the Wereth 11.

In 1949, the US Senate investigated judicial proceedings resulting from atrocities during the Battle of the Bulge, listing 12 locations where American prisoners of war and Belgian civilians were allegedly murdered by German troops. The location where 11 African American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion were killed by the German SS after their surrender in Wereth, Belgium was omitted from the report of a Senate subcommittee.

Over the past 70 years, the event known as the Wereth Massacre has been a largely forgotten tragedy from the final phase of World War II. Today, momentum is growing in Congress to give proper recognition to the 11 men who died serving their country. The National WWII Museum, led by President and CEO Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, urges citizens, museums, and other institutions to back the current effort – reflected in House Resolution 141 – to revise the 1949 Senate report and officially recognize the service and ultimate sacrifice of these 11 men.

The 1949 Senate report surveyed a range of atrocities committed in several locations in Belgium beginning on Dec. 16, 1944, and ending nearly a month later.

The atrocities, which included the killing of approximately 350 American prisoners of war ( after their surrender)  and 100 Belgian civilians, were “committed by the organization known as Combat Group Peiper, which was essentially the first SS Panzer Regiment commanded by Col. Joachim Peiper,” the report concluded. “On the eastern front, one of the battalions of the Combat Group Peiper … earned the nickname of Blow Torch Battalion after burning two villages and killing all the inhabitants thereof.”

In a letter to West Virginia Congressman David B. McKinley, sponsor of H.R. 141, Mueller said, “Until recent years, many relatives of these murdered soldiers were left to believe that their loved ones simply died in combat. Records show there was evidence of torture and disfigurement among the deceased soldiers, and some observers believe the radial ideology of Nazi SS soldiers could have influenced their brutal treatment of these artillery unit members.”

We will never forget the service of the Americans lost in this episode: Curtis Adams of South Carolina, Willliam Pritchett and George Davis Jr. of Alabama, Nathaniel Moss and George Motten of Texas, Due Turner of Arkansas, James Stewart of West Virginia, Robert Green of Georgia, and three Mississippians, Mager Bradley, Thomas Forte, and James Leatherwood.

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SciTech Tuesday: Silly Putty is a WWII invention

In 1943 James Wright, a Scottish-born engineer working for General Electric mixed silicon lubricant with boric acid. It was too sticky to be the artificial rubber he wanted, but when he dropped it it bounced. It was interesting enough for a patent application. Engineers with Dow Corning filed a very similar patent slightly later.

The product of the patent was developed into a toy, called Silly Putty, in 1949. Today about 6 million eggs of Silly Putty a year are sold by Crayola, who purchased the rights to sell Silly Putty in 1977. Silly Putty is a non-newtonian fluid–this means that it has characteristics unusual for a liquid or a solid. If left in a shape it will eventually flow to a flat shape like a liquid. However it bounces, and when struck strongly and sharply will shatter.

Because it is made of silicon lubricant, if your Silly Putty gets stuck on a pourous surface (like hair or fabric) you can dissolve it with WD-40 or alcohol.

At home you can make a substance with very similar properties. You’ll need Borax (which you can find at the grocery store next to the bleach) and white glue. White glue is a polymer (polyvinyl acetate, or PVA) like silicon lubricant. The Borax affects the glue like the boric acid Wright used changed the silicon. Here’s a recipe we use in our Real World Science curriculum:

1/2 cup white glue

3/4 cup water

1 tsp borax

Dissolve the borax in the water, and then mix it with the glue. Put the resulting polymer into a ziploc bag and knead it until it forms a nice stretchy mass. Pour remaining liquid down the drain.

Posted by Rob Wallace, STEM Education Coordinator at The National WWII Museum.

image from The Museum of Play

Home Front Friday: DIY Knitting Needles So You Can Knit Your Bit

Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!

Knitting during World War II: During World War II, civilians on the Home Front knitted scarves, hats, gloves, and socks for soldiers on the front. Everyone was encouraged to “Knit Your Bit” and donate warm knitted items to their local Red Cross stations. These knitted items helped keep American soldiers warm during the freezing European winters as well as reminded them of their home sweet home.

Courtesy of the National Endownment for the Humanities.

In 1943, the American Red Cross listed these instructions explaining how to knit a Muffler. Courtesy of the National Endownment for the Humanities.

Knit Your Bit: The WWII knitting program has inspired the creation of the Museum’s Knit Your Bit program. In the past 10 years, the Museum has collected over 50,000 scarves to donate to veterans. If you would like to knit a scarf for a veteran or create a scarf in gender neutral colors and send it in to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans or to one of our community partners around the country follow this link.

DIY Knitting Needles: Do you want to knit a scarf, but don’t have the needles? Are you looking for a creative way to engage your kids in knitting?

You should try making your own needles because its simple, inexpensive, and a great hands on learning lesson for you or your kids.

Supplies:

  • 2 dowel rods (each about a foot long)
  • 1 pencil sharpener
  • A package of oven bake clay
  • Sandpaper

Step 1: Sharpen one end of each of your dowel rods using the pencil sharpener. They should be as sharp as a pencil when you are done with this step.

Step 2: Sand your dowel rods. Use the sand paper to make the dowel rods as smooth as possible so that you won’t get any splinters in your hands or in your yarn while knitting. Make sure to sand the pointed end so that it is rounded rather than sharp.

Step 3: Make the other end of the needle. Roll your clay into two balls. Push those balls onto the non-sharpened ends of your dowel rods. Mold the clay into whatever shape you desire but maintain a right angle between the dowel rod and the beginning of your clay. This will keep the yarn from falling of the needles.

Step 4: Bake the needles. Set the oven for the temperature on your clay package. Allow it to fully pre-heat. Stick the needles on a baking sheet with foil underneath. Bake the needles for no more than 10 minutes. Watch the needles the entire time and be ready to pull them out the moment the wood begins to change color to avoid burning the wood.

Step 5: Cool needles and re-sand if necessary.

Step 6: Start knitting!           

WWII propaganda calling on people to knit.

WWII propaganda calling on people to knit.

Posted by Sara Scott, Public Programs Intern and Lauren Handley, Assistant Director of Education for Public Programs at The National WWII Museum.

Andrew Higgins and the Atomic Bombs

The Top-Secret Assignment that Brought New Orleans’s Most Famous Boat Builder Inside the Manhattan Project

The National WWII Museum has been researching Higgins Industries’ involvement in this top secret work and wants to hear from anyone who worked on this assembly line, or who may have information on the atomic bomb-related work at the Michoud plant in New Orleans. Please email research assistant Kali Martin at The National WWII Museum if you have any information on the atomic line at Higgins Industries.

Higgins Atomic Bomb Post 2

“Orleanians, from Youths to Grandmothers, Help Build Atom Bombs,” The Times-Picayune New Orleans States , August 12, 1945. Courtesy of Jerry Strahan.

The Atomic Age Quietly Comes to New Orleans

Catherine Dolles (pictured) served as the “lead woman in inspection” on a production line at Higgins Industries’ Michoud plant during the final year of World War II. Mrs. Dolles, along with thousands other employees, worked on parts that, unknown to them, were destined for the Manhattan Project—the top-secret drive to build an atomic bomb.

Catherine Dolles (pictured with her face and arms covered with dust from the production process) served as the “lead woman in inspection” on a production line at Higgins Industries’ Michoud plant during the final year of World War II. Mrs. Dolles, along with thousands of other employees, worked on parts that, unknown to them, were destined for the Manhattan Project—the top-secret drive to build an atomic bomb. “Orleanians, from Youths to Grandmothers, Help Build Atom Bombs,” The Times-Picayune New Orleans States, August 12, 1945. Courtesy of Jerry Strahan.

In August 1944 Higgins Industries, under the direction of Andrew Higgins, was dealt a costly blow when a contract for C-46 cargo planes was canceled. This represented a huge loss for Higgins Industries and the city, as the sprawling Michoud plant in eastern New Orleans had been completed specifically to build these cargo planes. The contract cancellation made headlines across the country and caught the attention of the Tennessee Eastman Corporation, which operated the electromagnetic separation plant “Y-12” at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Y-12 plant was responsible for producing uranium to be used in atomic bombs. By the end of the month, Higgins Industries had a contract to make carbon components for Manhattan Project production work.

That fall, roughly 2,500 workers were selected from existing lines at Higgins Industries’ various plants to work on a new line. The workers had to swear an oath of secrecy about the work they would be doing—although as far as they knew, they were making radar and radio parts. Andrew Higgins’s son Frank was put in charge of the operation at the Michoud plant, with a mandate for absolute secrecy: “Our right hand couldn’t know what the left hand was doing,” according to Higgins. Despite the need for secrecy, few security measures were put into place. No armed guards roamed the premises, lest their presence tip off the workers that their work was more than they had been told.

The “vile, dirty and dangerous” work, as Andrew Higgins described it in a press conference, was complicated and changeable: Once the lines were up and running, workers produced parts that met the high standards required. But just after the carbon order was placed with Higgins Industries, another order came in for metal spare parts. Lines had to be added and adjusted to meet the shifting needs of the Tennessee Eastman Corporation.

Working on this these lines were mothers, grandmothers, fathers, and veterans. Nearly all of them had family members in uniform. Some drove 100 miles each day to take their place on the line. Some came on crutches due to physical disabilities. Ten hours a day, six days a week, they took their places on the line. On the carbon line, workers were mostly shielded by protective clothing, but their hands and faces would be blackened by dust by the time they left the plant.

The difficult and dirty work continued over the next year, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The demand for parts was continuously increasing. If any of workers questioned the work, they kept their doubts quiet. In the year of production before an atomic bomb was dropped, there were no reported intelligence leaks at Higgins.

 

“The potentialities of it intrigue the mind of man.”

The nose of the Enola Gay, probably on a Tinian airfield in 1945. Gift of David Lawrence, from the collection of The National World War II Museum

The nose of the Enola Gay, probably on a Tinian airfield in 1945. Gift of David Lawrence, from the collection of The National World War II Museum

As the workday came to a close on August 5, 1945, across the world three B-29 planes made their way to the skies over mainland Japan. There it was early morning of August 6, and the world was on the brink of a new era. Americans awoke on August 6 to news of the destruction of Hiroshima, Japan, by a single bomb that was more destructive than anything seen before. With the release of the first atomic bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” dropped from the B-29 Enola Gay, the world had entered the atomic age.

That night Andrew Higgins spoke at a press conference in Chicago. He revealed that the manufacturing process his employees had believed to be routine was in fact work for the Manhattan Project. Although he couldn’t divulge any details about what they had been doing, Higgins was able to make it known that the work at Michoud had helped to build the most powerful weapons in the world. Higgins remarked about the atomic bomb, “The potentialities of it intrigue the mind of man.” He applauded the hard work of the men and women on this most secretive line, calling them “heroes and heroines.”

 

Unraveling the Mystery

The Alpha II track at the Y-12 facility. Image from Manhattan District History, Manhattan Project, US Army Corps of Engineers, Book V: Electromagnetic Project, Volume 6 – Operation.

The Alpha II track at the Y-12 facility. Image from Manhattan District History, Manhattan Project, US Army Corps of Engineers, Book V: Electromagnetic Project, Volume 6 – Operation.

Much of the documentation surrounding the uranium bomb Little Boy was destroyed after the war when it was determined to be less effective than the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. There is little documentation available on Higgins’s involvement with the Manhattan Project. What is known has come from documentation from the National Archives, Andrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats that Won World War II by Jerry Strahan, and newspaper articles published in 1945 by The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. From this, we know that workers on that dirty, carbon dust–coated line were making parts for the Alpha and Beta tracks at the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge.

The Alpha and Beta tracks were the large calutrons in which uranium 235 (U235), used in the Little Boy bomb, was separated from uranium 238. Through an electromagnetic process, U235 could be isolated and captured. The captured U235 was then carried by a single person to New Mexico via train. Although we know that the parts made at Higgins went into the process, we have not found confirmation of how they were used. The metal spares made also went to the Alpha and Beta tracks, but their exact nature remains a mystery.

The research to understand the exact contributions of Higgins Industries to the Manhattan Project is ongoing. As part of this research the Museum is looking for former Higgins workers who worked on the atomic line. Do you know someone who worked on the atomic line at Higgins? If you worked on the line, or know someone who did, please email research assistant Kali Martin at The National WWII Museum.

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SciTech Tuesday: Real World Science 2016 cohort

Last week 28 teachers of 5th through 8th grade science came from all over the country to learn about teaching science in the context of history. From California to Maine, South Carolina to Utah, schools big and small, urban and rural, they represent the amazing folks who are teaching the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators. We discussed how WWII is a great context to teach the role of science in society, and the ways new ideas replace old ones when the old ones don’t work. We did hands-on activities in our classroom at the museum and at the University of New Orleans, we visited galleries at the museum and the lagoons of City Park. We framed the curriculum with the best practices of science teaching, and we had a great time!

This is the second cohort of the Real World Science Summer Teachers Seminar, funded by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Teachers and their students will collect data on weather conditions today and 75 years ago once the school year begins, and this year’s cohort, like the last, will stay connected as a community of practice to get better at their profession.

Applications for the third cohort will open in early January 2017. You can learn more about the activities of Real World Science classrooms on the project website

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Home Front Friday: Let’s Be Frank

Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!

There seems to be a holiday for everything these days. Along with federal holidays, there are those that observe friendships or different foods and have your timeline blowing up with shoutouts and hashtags. July is a month supposedly dedicated to the celebration of hot dogs. This traditionally German dish has a history of bringing friends, family, and diplomats together, while its homeland, unfortunately, has a history of causing disruption and a world war rather than unification.

The National Hot Dog Summit of 1939 took place from June 8 through June 12 and King George VI of Great Britain became the first monarch from our previous motherland to step foot in the United States. President Roosevelt aimed to change the American feelings from anti-British to acceptance, and that he did. The Hot Dog Summit, also known as the British royal visit, welcomed King George VI and his wife, Elizabeth, to Washington, D.C. for two days before they made their way up to Hyde Park, New York for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the politically active city life of the nation’s capital. A picnic was held at the Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park and none other than hot dogs were served. They also offered fancier items, but hot dogs were all the rage. The image of the King and Queen eating a hot dog really stuck out to the American public because they were seen more as regular people rather than pretentious rulers.

America was able to stay neutral for some time after this conference while supporting Great Britain both diplomatically and financially as they declared war against Germany in September of the same year. If you’re interested in learning more about the National Hot Dog Summit, catch up on some more information here. 

via FDR Library's Digital Collection

Photo courtesy of  FDR Library’s Digital Collection.

via New York Times.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

The hot dog has its origin from the Frankfurter of Germany that was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. It is unusual that two Allied countries found their common ground and relationship over a food from the country that they would both fight against. Two years later, in 1941, when the U.S. joined the war, the government started to encourage civilians to eat skinless hot dogs or Frankfurters because they were a no waste food due to their lack of casing. Both the National Hot Dog Summit and the encouragement to eat hot dogs were quite frankly ironic during WWII because on the Home Front, a German item unified people, but in Europe, some German items divided.

via LIFE magazine

via LIFE magazine

Since July is reaching an end, you should enjoy the last couple days of your month with a hot dog in hand to honor the role the food played on the American Home Front, or to just embrace its pure deliciousness.

Let’s be frank, you’re probably wondering how to spice up your dog with toppings because the classic ketchup, mustard, and relish combination just isn’t cutting it anymore, so here are a few savory options:

  1.  Nacho Dog: Shredded cheddar, guacamole, pickled jalapeno, and crushed tortilla chips.
  2. Chili Dog: Chili and shredded cheddar.
  3. Bacon wrapped hot dog topped with avocado, tomato, onion, and potato chips.
  4. Muffuletta Hot Dog: For you New Orleans people.
  5. Mac&Cheese Dog: Coat it with cheesy noodles for a happy treat.
  6. Follow this link for a 7 layer recipe that seems too good to be true.
  7. Breakfast Dog: Fried Egg, Bacon, Chopped Onions, Ketchup, Hashbrowns. A true morning meal.

Posted by Camille Weber, Education Intern and Lauren Handley, Assistant Director of Education for Public Programs at The National WWII Museum.

2016 Student Leadership Academy Learns ‘What WWII Means Today’

Last week, 23 high school and college students from across the country traveled to New Orleans to take part in The National WWII Museum’s Student Leadership Academy, a rigorous educational travel program exploring lessons of leadership and the theme of what WWII history and events mean today.

For one week, these 23 students enjoyed special behind-the-scenes access to Museum exhibits, artifacts, vehicles, and archives.  Student Leadership Academy participants also engaged with  veterans, both from World War II and the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, who spoke humbly about the enduring qualities of what makes a strong leader and how some of those qualities never change. While in New Orleans, the Student Leadership Academy visited Chalmette Battlefield — the site of the pivotal 1815 Battle of New Orleans — as well as Bollinger Shipyards, connecting modern-day ship construction to the entrepreneurial leadership and legacy of the Higgins Industries boats so central to the Museum’s identity. In addition to completing pre-tour reading assignments to better prepare themselves for their experience, each student also viewed selections from the Museum’s Digital Collection of images and veterans’ oral histories

All throughout the Student Leadership Academy program, however, students continually engaged in structured Leadership Lesson Debates, revisiting the lessons of World War II and relating them to their own lives and the world around them. These debates ranged from what should be the future US role as it relates to global security in a now all-volunteer military to the dangers of succumbing to fear and prejudice as seen in the wake of Executive Order 9066 and the ensuing internment of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans. More than anything, the Student Leadership Academy program hopes to arm its 2016 class as well as all of tomorrow’s leaders with the lessons and examples of American leadership in the war that changed the world.

Learn more about The National WWII Museum’s Student Travel Programs.

 

This post by Collin Makamson, Student Programs Coordinator at The National WWII Museum