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Give a Gift that Gives More This Holiday Season!

holiday-blog-hed-641x325-2The Holidays are here, and whether you want to give to others or just give back, The National WWII Museum offers a variety of gifts that always support the mission and educational efforts of the Museum. Show your gratitude and find a unique gift for your loved ones that will truly get them excited this holiday season!



Looking for the perfect gift? The National WWII Museum Store has gifts to spread holiday cheer for him, her, the kids, and the home! All proceeds from purchases made through the Museum Store fund the continuing educational mission of The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. Order by 12:00 p.m. CST on December 21 for delivery by Christmas Day. Enjoy free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

Shop for gifts in our store now

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zippoGifts for Him

From bestselling history books and DVDs to WWII collectibles and unique accessories like lapels and cufflinks, The National WWII Museum is chock full of gifts for the history buff in your life. During World War II, the Zippo windproof lighter was dubbed the GI’s friend. Get the WWII aficionado you know this commemorative Zippo D-Day Lighter Gift Set, that pays tribute to one of the boldest military operations in history. Included in the set is an authentic Acme Cricket, a hand-held clicker used to transmit coded signals to Allied troops during the D-Day invasion.

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Gifts For Her

The war-era fashions were timeless and continue to impress. Consider getting your sweetheart a staple for her wardrobe from 1940s inspired clothes and accessories. The National WWII Museum Store carries are variety of these classic looks from dresses, skirts, purses, and exclusive accessories from local New Orleans treasure, Mignon Faget! This exceptional, bronze Propeller Cuff Bracelet, exclusively designed by Mignon Faget for The National WWII Museum, is sure to attract attention. Its subtle propeller design is perfect for the aviation lover in your life!

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monopGifts For Kids (or the Kids at Heart)

There’s just something about classic toys that today’s play things just don’t have. Introduce your kids to those nostalgic toys you had growing up with array of Retro Toys available in The National WWII Museum Store like slinkies, marbles, and train sets. One game bound to take the kids back in is our spin on the classic game Monopoly. Wheel and deal with WWII events such as Pearl Harbor, D-Day, and the Battle of the Bulge in an effort to own these momentous pieces of history. Build support and rally the troops as you establish camps and headquarters on your way to victory when you play America’s World War II: We’re All In This Together, a WWII Edition of America’s favorite game, MONOPOLY ™!

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mmGifts for the Reader

World War II touched every aspect of life, and those stories have been written about extensively by bestselling authors. Give the bookworm in your life a new book took crack. The National WWII Museum Store sells more than 35 titles signed by their authors and hundreds more books on the topic of World War II. Shop signed books now!

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kitcatGifts for the Home

Even the home can get a gift this holiday season! Fit your home or a friend’s with retro decor and ornaments. This classic Kit-Cat Clock is a gift that will surely bring a laugh and a smile. Since the mid 1930s—in the midst of the Great Depression—the Kit-Cat Clock has been inspiring hope and entertaining the world with his rolling eyes and wagging tail.

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Give a gift to the Museum that goes directly to honoring our nation’s WWII veterans. Started in 2010, $10 For Them allows us to offer free admission for WWII veterans and to continue building our collection of personal accounts of World War II. Show your gratitude to these courageous Americans with a small donation to ensure they can continue to see their nation’s tribute and have their stories preserved.

Give $10 For Them

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Honor your hero this holiday season. Our courageous veterans forged the path for victory and freedom; now you can add their names to our path of honor. A commemorative brick is the perfect way to show appreciation for your family’s hero with permanent tribute on our Museum campus in New Orleans. Order your Tribute Brick Order your Tribute Brick by December 11th to receive your certificate in time for the holidays. All orders made by December 31st will be included in our 2016 campus install.

Give the Gift of Honor now

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Museum Memberships are a gift one can enjoy all year! It takes more than a day to take in everything the Museum has to offer, and as a member of The National WWII Museum, you will receive free admission to the Museum for a year and invitations to members-only events. Along with discounts at our store, a gift membership to the Museum is definitely a gift that gives more.

Give a Museum Membership now


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SciTech Tuesday: Engine advancements drive airpower revolution

A good part of the development of aircraft in World War II was driven by advancements in the internal combustion engine in the two decades after World War I.

Engineers worked on plans and designs and working internal combustion engines throughout the 1800s, but that century was largely dominated by steam engines.

Steam engines use expanding water vapor to turn turbines, which were connected to mechanical devices to power trains, manufacturing machines, and other mechanical devices. Steam power is still used today in most electrical generating plants, which use nuclear power, coal, oil, or natural gas to make steam. Steam is also often used in large ships.

The internal combustion engine uses a controlled explosion in a chamber to create expanding gases, which move a piston in a cylinder. The first reliable internal combustion engines were designed by engineers (whose recognizable names included Diesel, Daimler, and Benz) in the 1880s. In the early 1900s automobiles became the focus of internal combustion engine development.

As the world powers on either side of the conflict began readying for World War II, pressure grew to devise engines powerful and light for aviation. The development of these engines took two basic paths—linear, liquid cooled engines like the Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Licensed to Packard, this engine powered the P-51 Mustang. The other path was air-cooled rotary engines.

Pratt & Whitney developed the Twin Wasp engine in 1930, and it powered the first trans-Pacific commercial flights when Pan American opened them in 1935. This engine had two rows of 7 cylinders each arranged in two rings. The first Twin Wasp had 800 hp, but later models had improvements that led to up to 1,200 hp. The Twin Wasp was used in the DC-3, its military counterpart the C-47 Skytrain, and the B-24 Liberator. Probably the most-produced large engine in history, about 173,000 Twin Wasps were made in the WWII era.

From the Twin Wasp Pratt & Whitney developed the Double Wasp, which had 18 cylinders and up to 2,400 hp. This engine was used in the F4U Corsair, the P-47 Thunderbolt, and the F6F Hellcat. During the war about 125,000 of these engines were produced.

To increase the power of an internal combustion engine, you can increase its displacement (the internal volume of the engine) by increasing the number of cylinders or the size of the cylinders. This is, for example, why you would expect more power from a car with an 8 cylinder 4.7 liter engine than one with a 4 cylinder 1.8 liter engine. Another way to increase the power from an engine is to more efficiently achieve combustion by coordinating the timing and volume of air (which contains the oxygen the explosion needs), fuel, and the spark which creates ignition.

Above 16,000 feet in altitude, air is thin enough that it is a challenge for internal combustion engines. Engineers matched this challenge by using technologies still used in internal combustion engines today—superchargers and turbosuperchargers.

Superchargers force air into the engine with a fan or turbine. A simple supercharger uses the engine to power the turbine by a belt or some other mechanism. A challenge for aviation supercharging is that a supercharger that works well at very high altitudes might blow out the engine by forcing in too much air at lower altitudes. Thus engineers used two-stage superchargers—a single supercharger to work all the time, and an additional one that the pilot switched on, or that automatically came on, at higher altitudes.

A turbocharger works similarly, but often more efficiently, by using exhaust to power a turbine. The supercharger takes some power away from the engine, while adding even more. A turbocharger works on waste energy and thus takes no power from the engine. Also, because the exhaust air is still expanding, it moves the turbine very effectively. A disadvantage of the turbocharger’s use in WWII aircraft were that it used a lot of tubing to capture exhaust and force air, and that the high temperatures of the exhaust on the turbine required special materials. There is also a lag between turbocharging effectiveness and need, since it uses exhaust.

Combinations of multistage supercharging and turbocharging were used in all American aircraft in WWII.

Jet and turboprop technology were under development during WWII. German aircraft using jet engines, and in mid-to-late 1944 British (Gloster Meteor) American (P-80) and German (eg. He 162, Me 262) planes were used. These planes were small in numbers and had limited impact on the war. The German V-1 also used a jet engine.

After the war jet and turboprop technology dominated military aircraft development.

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

Images are from the collection of the National WWII Museum

WWII Yearbooks Lead to Path of Discovery

In this guest blog post, middle school teacher Tamara Bunnell, a  participant in The National WWII Museum and Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History’s Story of World War II summer teacher seminar, discusses how one Museum artifact led her to uncover the WWII history of Japanese Americans from her community.

In September of 1941, a young woman named Louise Tsuboi smiled for her final yearbook photo. It was her senior year at Seattle’s Broadway High School (BHS), and she must have been excited as she looked ahead to the school year to come. Aside from Broadway’s outstanding classes, there would be dances, academic achievements, clubs, and activities. For Louise, that meant time with Science Club, the Honor Society, and the Nichibei Japanese American Choir to name a few. Months later, her photo appeared in the senior section of the BHS yearbook, where each page of the student-designed publication was captioned with a phrase related to graduation. Some were comical (“For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Never Come Back”) and some sentimental (“Outward Bound” and “Beyond the Horizon”). Topping Louise’s page was the phrase, “Made in America.”

Louise was no longer at Broadway High School when the yearbook was released, so she wasn’t there to see her photo or the title, though she most certainly would have noted the irony. Like every other student of Japanese descent at BHS, even those “Made in America,” Louise had been removed from her home and sent to a temporary holding center in nearby Puyallup, Washington. Clumsily and hastily built on land normally used as fairgrounds, “Camp Harmony” was where she and her classmates would be temporarily held before being sent on to more permanent incarceration camps for the duration of the war.

As a Seattle resident and teacher of Pacific Northwest History, I have long been interested in the story of Broadway High School, which was located just a few blocks from where I teach. However, it wasn’t until I attended a WWII-focused Gilder-Lehrman summer seminar for teachers at The National WWII Museum that I came to study the yearbook that would lead me to Louise’s story. While there, in addition to having the opportunity to tour the museum and attend lectures with noted historian Dr. Donald L. Miller, we were asked to build a lesson plan on something from the Museum’s collections. To help us get started, the Museum’s education and curatorial teams put together a room of artifacts related to our interests and curricula and also directed us to their online resources. Pouring over them and fascinated by each one, I thought I would never be able to choose until I came across something from home in the Museum’s digital exhibit, “See You Next Year: High School Yearbooks from WWII.” It was the 1944 edition of Sealth, the Broadway High School yearbook.

Though it likely came out some time close to D-Day, there are only a few references to the war in the book. One war-related section, a two-page spread listing the names of alumni serving in the war, is arresting. Over 500 names grace the page, and each has a story. There is Robert Dorwart, who floated for 16 days in the Pacific after his B-17 was shot down, famed sculptor George Tsutakawa, who served as a translator in the Military Intelligence Service despite the fact his own family was incarcerated at Tule Lake, and Leo Sarkowsky, whose Jewish family fled Germany and landed in Seattle by way of Czechoslovakia, and whose brother Herman, also a WWII veteran, would go on to found the Seattle Seahawks.

As interesting as I found the 1944 yearbook and the people in it, however, I knew there was another story to discover about the people who were not. Seattle, like most west coast cities, had a sizable Japanese American population before the war. Though the 1882 federal Chinese Exclusion Act, restrictive housing covenants, and other formal and informal discriminatory policies limited the freedoms of Japanese Americans, their presence and influence in the city was significant. I wanted to know just how significant the population was at BHS, so upon my return to Seattle I contacted the school’s alumni association to learn more. Broadway High closed not long after WWII ended, but their alumni association has maintained a continuously updated archive since that time. It is a treasure trove of information featuring a veritable who’s who of Seattle history, lovingly maintained by the school’s graduates who have remained connected to this day. There I was able to borrow a set of WWII-era yearbooks, and through them I learned that my suspicions were correct: the BHS student body was significantly different in 1944 than it was before Pearl Harbor and the ensuing Japanese Incarceration.

How significant? The pre-incarceration Broadway student body was approximately 30% Japanese American, and the earlier editions of Sealth make the contributions of those students clear. They are valedictorians, class officers, all-star athletes, newspaper editors, and thespians. They brought their culture to the school through the Nichibei Choir and through tea ceremonies at the student carnival, yet in most ways little in the yearbooks distinguishes them from their classmates, many of whose parents and grandparents were also immigrants to the United States. On Louise’s page of the 1942 yearbook, seven of the 17 students have Japanese names. Like Louise, unless their families were able to move away from the West Coast before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, they were almost certainly removed from their homes in the spring of 1942 and sent to Camp Harmony with only what they could carry.

The devastating impact of this removal on the Japanese American community is obvious and well documented. At Broadway, the larger school community was affected as well. Members of the faculty traveled to Camp Harmony to conduct a graduation ceremony for the students there, and many BHS students made the effort to write to and visit their Japanese American friends. I’ve heard stories of students driving down from Seattle to toss what they could over the fences to their former classmates, including clothing, books, and toiletries, though all but the letter writing ended when the residents were sent on to permanent camps further inland. Like many Seattle residents, Louise and her family were sent to Camp Minidoka in Idaho.

Among the other residents at Minidoka was the man who would become Louise’s husband of more than 50 years, Shiro Kashino. A scrapbook housed today at Seattle’s Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall contains a hand drawn dance card Shiro made for Louise, though their dancing time together would be halted for a time by Shiro’s decision to leave the camp and join the famed Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat team. Shiro would go on to become one of the most decorated and respected members of his regiment, and his story is a fascinating one. So fascinating, in fact, that it has been featured in a recently published graphic novel, Fighting For America: Nisei Soldiers, by Lawrence Matsuda and Matt Sasaki. Shiro’s chapter has also been turned into a short animated film, which can be seen here. Both the book and film are excellent resources for any teachers and students interested in WWII.

I plan to use both, as well as the 1942 and 1944 Broadway High School yearbooks, in my classroom this year when my students study World War II and the Japanese Incarceration. I will use the yearbooks as comparative primary sources through which my students can discover this history themselves, a history that is immediate and local while also addressing the larger themes of patriotism, loyalty, and social justice. Sometimes, it seems, you must travel to another place in order to discover the history of your own neighborhood. Many thanks to The National WWII Museum and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History for leading me down this path.

Posted by Tamara Bunnell, who teaches seventh grade humanities with a focus on Pacific Northwest History at The Northwest School in Seattle, Washington.

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Home Front Friday: Bam Goes the Bacon Grease!

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!

One of the most interesting themes that connect modern America with WWII-era America is conservation and rationing. While we currently are not involved in a total war, conservation and recycling has made a huge comeback in recent years. Composting, for example, is becoming more and more popular in homes across America.

Back during World War II, however, instead of using scraps and edible waste for growing more food and plants, people would collect their scraps and donate them to the war effort. One of the most popular programs was through the American Fat Salvage Committee, where recycled meat grease would be used to make explosives! In the words of Emril Lagasse, “Bam!”

bacon fat

Bacon grease is still amazingly versatile with many different edible and non-edible uses. For example, did you know that you can use bacon grease to start a campfire? You can also make candles and soap out of bacon grease as well! It even has medical purposes—you can use bacon grease to heal and soothe small cuts and remove splinters. Birds love bacon grease as well—mix some cooled grease up in some bird seed and they’ll be happily singing in no time.

In short, the next time you go camping, remember to pack some bacon so you can reuse your bacon grease!

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

Donor Spotlight: Pam and Mark Rubin

Rendering of the Liberation Pavilion

Rendering of the Liberation Pavilion

In 2018, as The National WWII Museum seeks to continue our immersive journey through all stories of World War II, the Museum will open the doors of the exceptional Liberation Pavilion. The pavilion will include three building levels that will span the closing months of the war and immediate postwar years, concluding with an explanation of links to our lives today. The first floor, Liberation, will provide visitors with opportunities to contemplate the joys, costs, and meaning of liberation and freedom. The second level, Victory, recalls the celebrations that followed the war’s end and the transition from war to peace. The third floor, Fruits of Victory, focuses on the present, drawing connections between World War II and its profound meaning for our world today.



Donor Spotlight: Pam and Mark Rubin

One of the most significant features of the upcoming Liberation Pavilion will be the Liberation Theater, made possible through a generous gift by Mark and Pam Rubin.

Pam and Mark, who will be celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary this year, met on a blind date set up by mutual friends. Not wanting to “waste” a Saturday night on a date that could be a flop, Pam agreed to see Mark at a Sunday brunch at their friends home, where he was dropping by before rushing off to a reception.  After meeting Pam, Mark never made it to the reception! It was a whirlwind romance and they married only eight months after that first meeting. They have three children and, now, four grandchildren.

Pam and Mark Rubin

Pam and Mark Rubin

The Rubin’s first became involved with The National WWII Museum even before its inception at the celebration of Medal of Honor recipients held in Riverside, CA. Pam and Mark were guest of the Ray Ohrbach, then Chancellor of the University of California Riverside. While at an event the next day, the Rubin’s met Museum founder Stephen Ambrose, who sparked their interest.

The Rubin’s attended the Grand Opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center in January 2013, where Mark was approached by trustees, Gov. Wilson and Ted Weggeland to become a trustee of the Museum. Mark gladly accepted. Later that year, the Rubin’s made an exceptional gift to sponsor the Liberation Theater to be featured in the monumental Liberation Pavilion that will begin construction next year.  The Theater will be a specially-designed space, 1650 square feet, with seating to accommodate approximately 75 people. A commissioned film, presented in a looped format, will celebrate liberation and mourn the sacrifice and suffering of the soldiers and the Holocaust survivors. The film will show Museum visitors that the ultimate victory and liberation of thousands of people were worth fighting for and come away with the of hope for a peaceful future.

The sponsorship of the Theater is near to the Rubin’s’ hearts, due to the fact that Mark is a Holocaust survivor. Born in Czechoslovakia, Mark spent his early childhood in hiding with his family.  He states “we were like bounty, my mother, brother and me. My father was in a different hiding place…so not to all get captured at the same time.” The daughter of the family who was hiding the Rubin family turned them in to the Gestapo for a reward. His father was captured the day before. The family was sent first to Sered, a transit camp, after which Mark’s father was able to bribe the Nazi officer to have he family sent to Terezin or Terezenstadt (north of Prague) which at that time had become a “model”  Red Cross camp.  The German’s had invited to Red Cross to inspect this camp to prove that Jews were not systematically being murdered, but were just isolated from the general population. The family spent 4 days traveling across the country in a cattle car. Though Mark was only seven years old at the time, he says, “you become an adult very quickly.” While in the camp, he had no knowledge of what was happening in the war. In April, 1944 Terezin was liberated by the Russian forces after the fall of Berlin.  When Terezin was liberated, 35,000 children had been there during the war — only 100 survived.  Mark, his brother, and his two cousins were 4% of the child survivors.

After liberation Mark and his family first settled in Bratislava, now the capital of Slovakia and then in Presov in the eastern part of Czechoslovakia.  When it became apparent that Communism was threatening the livelihood of the Rubin family, they requested and received visas to come to the United States.  They arrived on March 18, 1948 in New York.

Pam believes that supporting The National WWII Museum is important, not only to preserve the American experience in the war, but because “if not for the second world war, [Mark and I] would never have met. This is our place…all the happenings of that time in history created the opportunity for us to meet.” Pam’s parents married in 1940 and, in order to avoid the draft, quickly had a child. Unfortunately, Pam’s father was still drafted soon after her birth, and was sent to England for the remainder of the war. He did return safely in late 1945.

This connection, Pam’s family in the service and Mark’s family surviving the terrors of the Holocaust, has forged a lifelong bond between the two. This bond, and the hopes of “keeping this time in history alive,” has inspired them to support the Museum. Mark notes that “the work that this Museum does, and what it stands for…couldn’t be a better way to preserve that time in history. ” Pam believes that supporting the Museum’s education mission “is very important for todays young people and for all future generations,” and that the Museum is essential “for the people of our generation who were directly affected by the war.” She states, “we were victorious and it changed the world. It was fate for Mark and I to be a part of that time, and it should always have a place in world history.”

With their heartfelt and leadership support, Pam and Mark Rubin make sure that it does. We are grateful for their commitment to The National WWII Museum as it advances our journey along the Road to Victory.

Donor Spotlight: The Hearst Foundations


The Museum works tirelessly to preserve the stories of the WWII generation so that future generations will not lose the opportunity to hear and benefit from their significant experiences. Through studying this chapter of our past, we can become better, more responsible citizens of our communities, our nation, and the world. Every day, as we lose more of our living resources from the WWII era, so that the need to record, preserve, and share their stories becomes more urgent.

The Museum launched its Digital Collections Website in December 2013 (www.ww2online.org). The site currently contains segmented and annotated videos of oral histories from all military service branches, which are easily searchable by theater, branch of service, or keyword. Website visitors can also create personal accounts to which they can save photos and oral history clips – free of charge – allowing them to manage the resources to better facilitate their own research projects or personal interests. Currently there are 250 oral histories available on the website, covering a diverse range of WWII experiences.

More than 75,000 people from around the world have already visited the website, many of which have used our resources for educational purposes. By the end of 2016, we anticipate serving 200,000 visitors to the site, including teachers, students, authors, researchers and family members of veterans represented in our collections.

Digital access to the Museum’s vast collection of oral histories and artifacts is essential to bringing the lessons and values of World War II to individuals around the world who are not able to visit the Museum in person. The Museum’s Digital Collection has been made possible in part by a generous gift from The Hearst Foundations.


Donor Spotlight: The Hearst Foundations

A large group of soldiers in winter coats and helmets pose for a photograph outside barracks at Camp Carson, Colorado. May 1944 Price:  select a license to see price. Part of the Museum's digital collection.

A large group of soldiers in winter coats and helmets pose for a photograph outside barracks at Camp Carson, Colorado. May 1944.  Part of the Museum’s digital collection.

The Hearst Foundations were founded by American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in the 1940s to identify and fund outstanding nonprofits in the fields of culture, education, health, and social services. The Hearst Foundations seek to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. The Foundations have been a proud supporter of the National WWII Museum since 2002, contributing a very generous gift to the Museum’s Red Ball Express Education Program which brings WWII education and artifacts directly to the classroom.

Director of Grants at The Hearst Foundations, Mason Granger, had been involved with the Museum before its opening in 2000. As President and General Manager of WDSU-TV in New Orleans for a number of years, he became well acquainted with Museum Founders Nick Mueller and Stephen Ambrose in the late 1990s. According to Granger, it was “hard not to be inspired by their enthusiasm and passion.” Granger noted that during his tenure at WDSU, it was the commitment of then General Sales Manager Frank Ratermann that helped lead Granger to feel the station should get involved. Granger states that Ratermann’s support for the Museum and dedication over the years were “tremendous and contagious.” After leaving New Orleans for New York in 2007, Granger began his career at The Hearst Foundations, where his enthusiasm for the Museum continues.

According to Granger, the hallmark of The Hearst Foundations is to respond to the needs and priorities of institutions across the country. He believes that the Museum’s mission of honoring and preserving the history of the United States is exceedingly significant, and that The Hearst Foundations wanted to respond to the Museum’s vision and goal by aiding in the growth of the its digital archive. Granger states that the Foundation recognized the importance of the Museum being able to interact with the public on a broader technology level, so that the Museum’s priceless archives would be preserved and available beyond the physical institution.

Granger believes that the work the National WWII Museum does is vital and that he is “very privileged and proud” to be a supporter. Over his many years of involvement with the institution, he believes that his interactions with the Medal of Honor recipients during the Museum’s many celebrations stand out as his most treasured memories. “Their sense of mission and selflessness are certainly characteristics that affected all of us,” he said. “I could never forget those conversations.”

He went on to say that the Hearst Foundations’ engagement with the Museum is a unique opportunity, and that the efforts of President Nick Mueller in creating a relationship between the city of New Orleans and the rest of the world through such an important cause is worth celebrating. He believes that the Museum is playing an essential role in “preserving the heritage and legacy of individuals who were vital in saving the world. If we don’t preserve and protect their legacy then we lose a significant part of ourselves.” Granger concluded with the statement that The Hearst Foundations are proud to have the opportunity to honor these individuals through the digitization of the Museum’s collection. The Museum is proud that The Hearst Foundations have honored us with their ongoing trust and support.

The National WWII Museum is privileged to have the support of The Hearst Foundations in our expansion of our digital archive as a preservation effort for the Museum’s incredible collection of artifacts, oral histories, photographs, videos, and much more. Visit the site to see more!

SciTech Tuesday: We Can Do It!

In WWII the war effort required EVERYONE’s help. My grandmother carried a soldering iron home from her job at General Dynamics. You’ve seen the pictures of Rosie and hundreds of other women doing hard manual labor on assembly lines. You’ve seen the pictures of women canning and working in Victory Gardens.

Women were at the forefront of computing and other parts of science in WWII as well. Most of the workers at Bletchley Park, where the Enigma Code was broken, were women. The first professional programmers hired by the US Government were all women. They programmed the ENIAC, which was being developed in WWII but wasn’t ready until it was used to make calculations for the H Bomb after the war.

Today we also need everyone to help solve society’s problems, and yet women are under-represented in the STEM workforce, STEM majors in college, and science and math electives in schools.

This Saturday we will host a workshop for girls, age 8-12. We’ll show that girls love great science education, and we will encourage them to consider careers in STEM.

In association with the Girl Scouts of East Louisiana, and Electric Girls, we are offering We Can Do It on Saturday Nov 7 2015. Girls will visit three sessions teaching fun hands-on science. They will make lip balm, ginger ale, electronics, and solve a (pretend) crime. Advance registration is required–fee is $5. Sign up here.

We need the next Joan Clark (codebreaker), Lise Meitner (discoverer of fission), and the next Grace Hopper (programmer) from this generation.

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

Images are from the US Army Archives

We’re All in this Together!

This months’ Calling All Teachers e-newsletter highlights a number of ways you can help your students see themselves in history.

Tomorrow, WYES and The National WWII Museum will debut We’re All in this Together, a FREE, interactive, and LIVE electronic field trip about the lives of students during World War II. The program airs at 10:00 a.m. CST and 1:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, November 4, and is for students in grades 4-8, so register now! By registering, you will also receive a recording of the program that you can broadcast later for your class.

As the November Calling All Teachers notes, tomorrow’s electronic field trip is also a great way to kick off your class’s participation in our national service learning project: Get in the Scrap! The project will provide students with fun classroom activities while learning important lessons about recycling and energy conservation. Students will also have a chance to win a number of exciting prizes.

The November Calling All Teachers also highlights a couple of ways you can connect with the Museum in New Orleans. Attendees at the upcoming National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference will be able to find us at Booth #631 in the Expo Hall for classroom resources, and conference attendees will receive FREE admission to the Museum through Sunday, November 15, with their conference badge.

Local teachers, counselors, and coaches are also invited to join us Thursday, December 10, for a daylong character education workshop sponsored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Register today for the workshop, which will provide you with a FREE curriculum kit and tools for using the oral histories of Medal of Honor recipients to teach critical values such as courage, commitment, sacrifice, and patriotism.

Finally, the November Calling All Teachers shines the spotlight on Thanksgiving during wartime, showcasing engaging resources such as the scrapbook of William Caddell and a newsletter produced by an American POW in a German camp. Both resources will allow your students to learn about the daily life of American troops while developing their primary source analysis skills.

Learn more about our digitized primary sources, and get more classroom resources and ideas by signing up for our free monthly e-newsletter Calling All Teachers and following us on Twitter @wwiieducation.

Post by Dr. Walter Stern, K-12 Curriculum Coordinator at The National WWII Museum. 

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Get in the Scrap! Featured Artifact: High School Yearbook

1944 Daisy Chain YearbookFor the past few years, the Museum has collected World War II high school yearbooks from across the country. We now have one yearbook from almost every state telling the diverse stories of students on the Home Front during the wartime, all available online at ww2yearbooks.org. Some experiences of high school students from the war years don’t differ greatly from what we see today: prom, football games, after school clubs, extracurricular activities. However, there is a stark contrast in many of these yearbooks from current times, including how students’ lives were shaped by the war. In some cases, it chronicles stories of former classmates joining the military and serving oversees, in others, it shows Japanese American students forcibly leaving their school during the middle of the year, to be relocated to one of the internment camps through the American West and South for the remainder of the war.

One very common thread through most of these books is how high school students supported the war effort, and the serious contribution schools across the country made to ‘back the attack.’ Broadway High School in Seattle, WA bought a jeep for the military in 16 days. At Topeka High School in Kansas, the Victory Corps assisted in distributing ration books to the community. At Carl Schurz High School in Chicago, their club the “Red Cross Unit” collected funds and necessary articles for the Red Cross to distribute to soldiers.

Many schools also gathered hundreds of tons of scrap throughout the entire year. In the 1944 Daisy Chain yearbook from Waco High School in Waco, Texas, students were dedicated to the cause of scrapping, as evidenced by the 2-page spread cartoon showing students across the entire campus feverishly working toward this common goal. Check it out and answer the questions below:

Hard at work at Waco High School

Hard at work at Waco High School

What are some of the items they are collecting?

Where do you think all of that scrap material is going?

What other wartime activities do you notice in the cartoon?

What can this cartoon tell us about student life at Waco High School during the war?

Teachers, feel inspired by what you see?
Your students can make a difference like students growing up in WWII by joining our Get in the Scrap! service learning program. With the support of the Museum and an easy-to-implement project toolkit, your students can complete fun and simple conservation and recycling activities that can translate into big results. Your school can even earn prizes by completing as many activities as possible before the end of the school year. Participation is easy by signing up at getinthescrap.org. More details to come!

Post by Chrissy Gregg, Virtual Classroom Coordinator

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Get in the Scrap! Featured Artifact: School Salvage Plan

The boys and girls of America can perform a great patriotic service for their country by helping our National Salvage effort. Millions of young Americans, turning their energies to collecting all sorts of scrap metals, rubber, and rags, can help the tide in our ever-increasing war effort.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wanted for Victory: Waste paper, Old Rags, Scrap Metal, Old Rubber

Wanted for Victory: Waste paper, Old Rags, Scrap Metal, Old Rubber

During World War II, American students were encouraged to take a share in aiding the war effort. Whether rationing food in short supply, growing a Victory Garden in their backyards, buying war stamps with spare change, and even criss-crossing their towns and communities to collect scrap. To students today, some of these activities might appear a little strange on the surface — Why did you recycle bacon grease? What is a bond and how did it pay for the war? How could all of that metal junk be used? They can answer these questions by investigating primary source artifacts, to understand how students like them made a difference and to make connections with the past by seeing themselves in it.

One great artifact to demonstrate how the country truly relied on the efforts of students is the ‘Get in the Scrap’ school salvage plan. Opening with the remarks of President Roosevelt above and by calling students ‘America’s Junior Army’ reinforced that the efforts of kids and teens were essential. Students were apart of the “Third Front. . . whose chief duty is to comb the entire Nation for the scrap materials that are absolutely necessary to keep our factories running– absolutely necessary for Victory.”

The pamphlet outlines a detailed plan to get school districts, administrators, teachers, and students involved; each an important cog in the machine to collect millions of tons of scrap. It also displays handy diagrams on how small household goods can be transformed into necessary items for the war. Explore some pages of the pamphlet below:

Teachers, feel inspired by what you see?
Your students can make a difference like students growing up in WWII by joining our Get in the Scrap! service learning program. With the support of the Museum and an easy-to-implement project toolkit, your students can complete fun and simple conservation and recycling activities that can translate into big results. Your school can even earn prizes by completing as many activities as possible before the end of the school year. Participation is easy by signing up at getinthescrap.org. More details to come!

Post by Chrissy Gregg, Virtual Classroom Coordinator