Brittany Waggener wearing her costume in front of the Museum at Andrew Higgins Boulevard.
There’s one costume we’ve been seeing on the parade route down in New Orleans this Carnival season that has us intrigued. Marching down the streets in many parades is one Dame de Perlage who is paying honor to the Museum’s cross street Andrew Higgins Boulevard with an intricate beaded corset featuring a WWII amphibious invasion scene.
Dames de Perlage is a walking krewe of women who continue the beadwork tradition of perlage, and their theme this year paid tribute to streets in New Orleans. One Dame named Brittany Waggener, a fan of the Museum and PhD student in Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans, chose to make her costume to pay tribute to our cross street named for Andrew Jackson Higgins, the man behind why the Museum calls New Orleans home.
Dwight Eisenhower attributes Higgins as “the man who won the war for [America in World War II].” During the war, Higgins led a boat building industry in New Orleans that designed and produced the critical LCVP that allowed for successful amphibious invasions like the ones that took place on D-Day and throughout the Pacific. During the war, he employed over 18,000 citizens of New Orleans to produce boats for the war.
Over the past 7 months, Waggener has clocked nearly 200 hours creating this tribute to Higgins with hand-sewn beadwork. Her scene features an amphibious invasion scene with airplane and a Higgins LCVP with three figures in it. The three men in the LCVP represent two of her family members who served in World War II and a close family friend that served in the armed forces during the war: Charles E. “Doc” Hill, Charles Andrew “Andy” Waggener, and Houston Raymond “Ray” Gravely.
Waggener is proud that New Orleans houses our world class Museum, and has been giving patriotic throws for the veterans and active service members she has encountered along the parade route.
As Carnival season builds up over the next week down here in New Orleans, the fun will be drumming down the streets right near the Museum, and it may affect your visit to the Museum.
For March 9th, 1943, the Retailers for Victory Committee organized a special Carnival Day Bond Drive and celebration in the 800 block of Canal Street. Image from the collection of The National WWII Museum.
Whether you’re a history buff or a parade-goer, we’ve got some tips for your Carnival Time trip to the Museum.
Plan carefully for when and how you’re making your trip to the Museum.
On the weekend of February 6-7, parades will be rolling day and night near the Museum, as well as parades on the evenings of February 3-5 and 8. You may find it impossible to park or get caught in parade traffic if you’re not careful. Tip: Beat the traffic, and arrive at the Museum before the parades roll.
Be sure to read the signs carefully before you park! Especially if you’re parking on the street. Avoid parking under “Parade Route” signs. You may get towed if there’s a parade set for that day.
Come see us while you’re at the parades!
The King Cake at The American Sector is definitely worth fighting for.
Escape the beads, and learn some history. We’re just a block off Lee Circle, and our restaurant The American Sector will have Mardi Gras food and drink specials, a real bathroom, and some seats waiting for you. Looking for a quick snack? Pop into Jeri Nim’s Soda Shop for a bite!
If it looks like a rainy day out on the parade route, consider staying dry in the Museum.
A restored P-40 Warhawk fighter plane is suspended in our newest exhibit Road to Tokyo.
Have fun on Mardi Gras Day, and remember that we’re closed for it on Tuesday February 9, 2016.
King and Queen in full costume, presumably welcoming crowd. Probably image from Mardi Gras celebration in Italy in February 1945. Scanned to disk in donor file. 13 February 1945. Gift in Memory of Dr. Thomas Edward Weiss, from the collection of the National WWII Museum.
For more information on Mardi Gras Parades Schedules and Routes, click here.
See what Carnival time was like around the world during World War II. Uncover stories from New Orleans and Italy here.
Get in the Scrap! A service learning project for grades 4-8 about recycling and energy conservation
With winter comes snow and ice storms (as we saw last week), longer nights and shorter days, and evenings cozied up indoors. It’s also the season of the furnace or heater working overtime, long hot showers, and cold air seeping through cracked and old windows.
With chilly temperatures keeping us inside, it’s the perfect time for you and your students to be more aware of energy consumption and how we can all help promote efficiency and conservation. Here are some simple ways:
Sign up your classroom for Get in the Scrap!, the Museum’s service learning project for grades 4-8 about recycling and energy conservation. Your students have the power to affect positive change on the environment, much like students played a positive role on the Home Front by scrapping for victory in WWII. Here’s how it all works:
After signing up, your students complete a variety of activities in the project toolkit and the Museum will award them prizes for their efforts. There are a couple that are particularly timely for winter:
1. Your students can conduct an energy audit in their classroom and/or home. Time your morning shower, check how many old incandescent bulbs are in the space, count how many items are plugged in at one time. This will get them focused on a variety of simple ways they can start conserving energy. It’s the perfect activity when you’re stuck inside on a snow day!
2. Your class can design personalized switch plates to remind everyone to turn off the light when they are leaving the room. They can come up with their own effective slogan or eye-catching design to encourage people to flip the switch! Check out the neat design on the right from a Hamlin Academy student in Evergreen Park, Illinois.
These two projects alone are worth 16 points and set your students well on their way to their first prize (a cool recycle bin-shaped magnet for the fridge).
Get started with Get in the Scrap! today and make a difference in your school, home, community, and even the planet!
Post by Chrissy Gregg, Virtual Classroom Coordinator
Thousands of African American Army officers were commissioned during the war, including these newly-minted second lieutenants at Fort Benning, Georgia, in May 1942. National Archives, 111-SC-137679.
The Double Victory icon that appeared in the pages of the Pittsburgh Courier during World War II. Pittsburgh Courier Archives.
Montford Point Marines pose in their dress blue uniforms, 1943. National Archives, 208-NP-10NN-2.
The Museum has a number of ways to explore African American history next month, and now is the perfect time to plan ahead.
First, you and your students can join Coretta Scott King Book Award winning author Tanita Davis 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. CST Tuesday, February 2, for a FREE live webinar exploring the experiences of African American women in WWII.
In Davis’s Mare’s War, readers follow teens Octavia and Tali on a reluctant road trip with their grandmother, Mare. But the trip becomes more interesting as Mare begins discussing her difficult childhood in the Deep South, her decision to join the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, and the segregation she faced serving her country. The webinar will allow students to explore stories of discrimination and achievement through artifacts and oral histories. They will also be able to ask Museum educators and the author questions, and they do not need to have read the book beforehand. Sign up today to reserve your spot and receive free curriculum materials!
Third, your students can explore African Americans’ wartime struggle against totalitarianism abroad and racism at home through a special offer on our Double Victory Virtual Field Trip. Students will learn about African American heroes such as Dorie Miller and the Montford Point Marines and will examine the Double V campaign through the music of Josh White. In conjunction with Digital Learning Day, you can book this field trip for February 15-19 for $50. That’s half the normal price! Request today!
Finally, the 2016 National History Day theme of “Exploration, Encounter & Exchange” offers many opportunities for students to research and explore African Americans’ wartime experiences. One example is Vernon Baker, a young African-American who encountered and overcame prejudice en route to becoming one of seven African Americans to receive the Medal of Honor for their WWII service.
National History Day is a year-long historical research contest for middle and high school students. Each year, students from across the country develop a project based upon the annual contest theme. The annual theme for the 2016 National History Day contest is “Exploration, Encounter & Exchange;” a topic which also offers many opportunities for students to research and explore powerful subjects and events in WWII history.
While images and figures from the Spanish Conquests or the Age of Sail are likely the first thoughts that spring to mind when most read and hear the words ‘Exploration,’ explorers existed in WWII as well, charting new paths in fields such as medicine, technology, and production while experiencing encounters and exchanges that would help change national attitudes towards isolationism, military preparedness and racial and gender equality. The outcomes of these WWII explorations varied, as did their encounters with opposition or resistance as well as the exchange of ideas or strategies that helped them to succeed or which caused them to fail, however, the outcomes and the lessons drawn from each of them are what determine why these events are important in history.
For example, one case of Exploration between 1941–1945 with lasting importance in history was the exploration of infection and disease in attempts to cure and combat them. One staggering statistic to come out of the Pacific Theatre in WWII: over 80% of American troops deployed to the Pacific were hospitalized at least once, with infection and disease being among the leading causes. The United States responded to this harsh battle environment by exploring revolutionary treatment ideas such as the mass production of penicillin, sulfa drugs and the first use of blood plasma on the battlefield as seen in the image from the Museum’s Digital Collection.
Similarly, military tactics in WWII had to change as a result of Encounters with new technology or Encounters with success or setbacks on the battlefield. With German U-Boats menacing Allied shipping lanes during The Battle of the Atlantic, new tactics such as the convoy system, as seen in the image below, and technology like sonar helped to turn the tide. Similar adaptations existed on the Axis side as well, with Germany’s horrific encounters with trench warfare of WWI leading to new strategies such as the Blitzkriegor ‘Lightning War’ which overran nearly all of Europe by the end of 1940.
Finally, exchanges occurred throughout WWII history as well, from the large scale, such as the meeting of The Big Three – Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin – at the week-long Yalta Conference which determined the end of WWII and the shape of the post-war world, to the individual, such as African-American serviceman Vernon Baker’s exchange with an prejudiced Army recruiter who at first refused his entry into the United States military based upon his race yet who later was awarded the Medal Of Honor, the highest award given by the United States Government for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
World War II is a rich and exciting time period in which to study the exploration, encounters and exchanges of The War That Changed The World – both famous and infamous – as well as what these events continue to teach us about history today.
Also, for any Louisiana teachers and professors, historians, undergraduate and graduate students, museum professionals, or anyone with a love of history and community, we need your help to judge this year’s regional and state National History Day contests! No prior experience necessary besides enthusiasm and interest in evaluating student work. Please view our National History Day Judges Form to learn more.
This post by Collin Makamson, Student Programs Coordinator @ The National WWII Museum
Helmet of Joseph K. Barrineau. On loan courtesy of the Barrineau Family, L2015.001.
There’s something new at the Museum! On loan for the next year, the helmet of of Corbin, Kentucky, who served with the 5th Infantry Division will be on display in our .
There’s something new at the Museum! On loan for the next year, the helmet of Joseph K. Barrineau of Corbin, Kentucky, who served with the 5th Infantry Division will be on display in our Normandy Gallery.
So what makes this helmet so special?
It’s the remarkable story it tells about heavy fighting to liberate Northern France after D-Day.
More than a month after D-Day near Vidouville, France as Operation Cobra and the Allied breakout from Normandy was underway on July 26, 1944, the 5th US Infantry Division launched its first attack of the war against the heavily fortified German-held village. Among the lead elements, was twenty-one year-old Private First Class Joseph K. Barrineau. As Barrineau and the attack advanced into the outskirts of Vidouville, German defenders opened fire with heavy, machine gun, and mortar fire. Immediately, Barrineau was hit with shrapnel across his back, shoulders and legs. After his evacuation to a rear area aid station, Barrineau removed his helmet and noticed for the first time, the hole where a machine gun bullet had penetrated his helmet, sliced through the suspension webbing that rested against his head, and then exited out the other side. Amazingly, Barrineau had no injuries to his head.
To welcome this artifact to the Museum and to commemorate what would have been Joseph K. Barrineau’s 92nd birthday, 18 members of the Barrineau family visited the Museum on Monday, January 4, 2016.
Family members of Joseph K. Barrineau with the helmet on display at The National WWII Museum on January 4, 2016.
Post by Katherine Odell, Social Media Coordinator at The National WWII Museum.
What does Archery, music, China, and Newcomb College have in common?
Give up? They are featured topics of Lunchbox Lectures! 2016 is already here and that means a new lineup of Lunchbox Lectures at The National WWII Museum. This year, we have a wild mix of social, local, and military history that is sure to peak your curiosity.
Hear experts and enthusiasts discuss the little known battle code named “Operation Archery” that forced Hitler to divert 30,000 troops away from the European Atlantic Coast. Also learn of the efforts of the United China Relief organization whose mission was to promote sympathy and support for war-torn China within the United States. In April, join Dr. Charles Chamberlain as he explores the era’s jazz, pop, and Latin music that rallied the U.S. home front. While March boasts a presentation of the graduate work of Kay Manuel from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who explores life in New Orleans for women at Newcomb College. All of these topics and more can be found with the online calendar.
Lunchbox Lectures are casual and fun opportunities to hear the latest on the study of World War II. Lunchbox Lectures are always free and open to the public on every first and third Wednesday of the month at 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Feel free to bring your lunch or order from Jeri Nims Soda Shop here at the Museum. For more information please call 504-528-1944 x 463.
United China Relief was founded in February of 1941 by six non-government charitable organizations in the U.S. to raise money for their operations in China. Its original mission was to assist the Chinese nation in its war against the Japanese invasion, and to promote sympathy for China in a neutral United States. After Pearl Harbor, China became America’s fighting ally in the Pacific. While federal lend-lease programs supported the Nationalist Chinese military, UCR supported the Chinese people. United China Relief provided medical supplies, assisted in rebuilding the civilian economy, and supported universities and medical training centers.
Between September 1945 and December 1946, nearly 130,000 Polish citizens of Jewish descent migrated through Czechoslovakia after failed attempts at repatriation to western Poland. Many migrants found financial, social, and humanitarian support from the Czech government, who supported their migration to their ethnic homelands of Palestine. The road to Palestine began for many Polish Jews at Náchod and their benefactors hailed, in part, from Czechoslovakia.
When the fighting was finished, what did World War II mean for African Americans? Did the war give birth to the Civil Rights Movement, or did it stifle and delay black protest? Dr. Walter Stern brings the war’s legacy for African Americans to life through vivid stories of veterans’ experiences in the postwar world.
Operation Archery was a British raid on German occupied Norway on December 27,1941. Assistant Director of Education, Walt Burgoyne, will discuss how British commandos and Norwegian resistance fighters captured a full copy of the German Naval Code book and persuaded Hitler to divert 30,000 troops to Norway away from the European Atlantic coast.
Women in higher education experienced the war differently from other civilians on the home front. It changed their environment, culture, and the lives of friends and family. Learn how World War II affected students at Newcomb College through the unique perspective of one individual, Coralie Guarino, both during and after the war. Explore how Guarino and her colleagues navigated difficult gender and social barriers because of their positions at Newcomb while still thriving within the successful arts programs.
During his service in World War II, Dutch Prager was on four patrols aboard the USS Kingfish in the Pacific Theater of operations. Join us as Prager shares his stories and experiences of being a submariner deep below the ocean surface. This talk is especially important as it is the 70th anniversary of the decommissioning of the USS Kingfish.
Explore the central role that music played in mobilizing the American public to support the Allied Cause during World War II. Dr. Chamberlain will show a large variety of World War II-era music videos to illustrate how the Office of War Information used jazz, pop, Latin, and country music to rally the home front.
The National WWII Museum’s Richard C. Adkerson & Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries retraces US involvement in the World War II’s Pacific Theater from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay. Through artifacts, oral histories, short films, and recreated environments, the exhibit brings the war to life, telling the story of the Americans who forged a road to Tokyo through courage, ingenuity, and great sacrifice, ending the war at last.
Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries, now open at The National WWII Museum, is the latest addition to the Campaigns of Courage pavilion. This $6 million exhibit includes more than 400 artifacts from the battles of the Pacific campaign. Approximately 7.3 million American soldiers supported the fight for freedom. Ultimately, the war that changed the world wounded more than 25 million and cost 15 million lives.
On the heels of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy have declared war on the United States. America is headed to war. Facing the Rising Sun takes visitors into this daunting moment in history, introducing the key leaders whose loyalties and ambitions define the moment, and the logistical challenges of a two-front war that will shape the years to come. Made possible through a gift from The Starr Foundation.
A recreated bridge of the USS Enterprise places visitors at the center of US strategy, aboard the carrier fleet that would be so critical to the success or failure of Allied efforts in the Pacific. Here, visitors take in an overview of US strategy and meet military leaders from both sides, while newsreels report Japanese victories and brutal treatment of American POWs. The Enterprise is steaming into hostile waters, and the odds for its survival—and the survival of the sailors, pilots, and mechanics on board—look grim indeed. Made possible through a gift from Madlyn and Paul Hilliard.
In this two-part gallery, a ship’s interior presents the quieter side of life aboard ship; “outside” on the ship’s deck, story panels introduce key naval actions, and the Midway theater dives deeper into the Pacific’s most pivotal battle. Actual footage of planes in action on the Enterprise flight deck completes the illusion of being onboard ship as visitors take in themes of the new naval warfare, including submarine fatalities, code-breaking work, and the dramatic speed with which the tides of war can shift. Made possible through a gift from Lt. Commander Alden J. “Doc” Laborde, USN. Additional funding provided by the Strake Foundation, Houston, TX and Grace and Tom Benson.
The setting shifts from sea to land at Guadalcanal, the site of World War II’s first major amphibious landing and the first ground assault by US forces. Vividly rendered and viscerally impactful, this experiential gallery features an immersive environmental narrative that draws the visitor into a towering palm jungle, following in the footsteps of American GIs as they battled heat, mosquitoes, disease, dense vegetation, and unfamiliar terrain along with a ferocious enemy in an all-consuming, round-the-clock battle. Made possible through a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tucker Hayes. Additional funding provided by Devon and Jackson Anderson and Gustaf W. McIlhenny Foundation.
In addition to a merciless enemy, US troops in the Pacific Theater were faced with non-existent infrastructure and rampant disease. Under assault to body and mind, Americans needed superior engineering and ingenuity just to survive. This gallery tells the story of those who answered that call: Seabees who built roads and airfields, nurses and medics who treated new diseases with new vaccines, and chaplains who helped lift spirits wearied by the relentlessly brutal nature of the Pacific war. Made possible through a gift from the Estate of Patrick F. Taylor. Additional funding provided by Jones Walker, LLC.
The “island hopping” strategy targeted key islands to capture and equip with airstrips, bringing B-29 bombers gradually within range of the enemy homeland. In this serpentine gallery, a realistic beachscape recreates a landing site on the island of Tarawa. Other exhibits describe the integrated effort between sea, land, and air, as well as successes in intelligence (Native American code talkers), technology (the long-range B-29 Bomber), and carrier warfare (the Marianas Turkey Shoot) in the fight for control of the skies.
“CBI” held critical strategic importance for US forces: while 11 Japanese army divisions battled US forces on the islands and at sea, a staggering 40 more were tied up in the Sino-Japanese War in China—and the Allies were determined to keep them there. Doing so meant supplying the Chinese with essential materiel, overcoming a maze of logistical challenges. A contoured topographical map helps illustrate the geographical obstacles American troops faced as they defended supply lines, rescued downed pilots, and engaged in covert operations in support of this critical ally.
As an American Commonwealth, the Philippines held special meaning for US forces: this was American territory in enemy hands—and a people to whom the United States had promised independence. Its liberation, which MacArthur saw as a moral imperative, was a strategic necessity: the Philippines were perfectly positioned to control shipments of oil and other supplies. The fight would be costly and vast: it included the war’s largest naval battle, McArthur’s return, kamikaze attacks, and a daring rescue operation by the US Rangers. Manila, a city once known as “the pearl of the Orient,” was decimated by the conflict, resulting in the urban ruins depicted in this immersive gallery.
Desperate fighting underscored the implacable fervor of the enemy—Japanese soldiers willing to resist to the last man. The enemy also had a logistical advantage: an underground defensive network of caves and tunnels, realistically depicted in this environmental gallery. Exhibits discuss the lifesaving impact of Navajo code talkers; the headline-grabbing losses of General Simon B. Buckner, journalist Ernie Pyle, and nearly 20,000 others; and the extraordinary valor that earned US Marines a total of 27 Medals of Honor in Iwo Jima—more than in any other battle in US history.
This haunting gallery surrounds the visitor with scenes from the aftermath of the atomic bombs, presented on oversize screens and accompanied by a musical soundtrack that is both somber and contemplative—an invitation to reflect on a moment that has spurred debate ever since, and a moment when Japan at last saw the hopelessness of its cause. Visitors pass through to a final room in the gallery to witness the surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri, which marked, at last, an end to the war that changed the world.
All Museum venues and experiences will return to standard hours of operation on Saturday, December 12, 2015 with the exception of D-Days of the Pacific galleries, which will close permanently on that Saturday. For more information on planning your visit to The National WWII Museum, please visit ushere.
The 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.
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.
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!
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 ™!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today - so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.