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Archive for the ‘Museum News’ Category

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Louisiana History Day National Finalists Selected

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Louisiana State National History Day ContestThis past Saturday, April 9, over 200 middle and high school students from across Louisiana visited The National WWII Museum to compete and take part in the annual Louisiana National History Day State Contest.  National History Day is a national student research contest in which students, working as either individuals or in groups, create projects relating to an annual theme which are evaluated and critiqued at school and regional level contests.

Having already advanced from one of five regional contests in Monroe, Baton Rouge, Shreveport or New Orleans, these students and their projects represented the best student work Louisiana had to offer.  Competition was fierce and exciting throughout the day with over 120 projects in 18 different categories seeking an opportunity to advance to the National History Day National Contest in Washington D.C..  The judges deliberated throughout the day and ultimately selected 61 middle and high school students to represent Louisiana at the National Contest the week of June 12 – 16, 2016.

The National WWII Museum is proud to serve as the state sponsor for National History Day in Louisiana and we are expecting great things from this year’s student delegation.  Congratulations to all the winners and to all the students and teachers who participated!   

 

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

 

 

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Launch PT-305! | This Is Only the Beginning!

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Thanks to all our supporters, we’ve just wrapped up a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to help launch PT-305! Now we can get to work on making the dream you contributed to a reality.

The first order of business will be getting PT-305 out of her current home, the John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion, which will be an achievement in its own right. A wall of the building will have to be temporarily removed so the boat can be transferred to the proper transportation.

From there, she will undergo Coast Guard testing before venturing to her permanent home, the new, custom-built boathouse for permanent, interactive display that your support will also help make a reality.

We’ll send out surveys shortly to make sure fulfillment of rewards moves swiftly, as promised. We will also be posting updates on PT-305’s journey here as we get them, so stay tuned! And thank you again for all your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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Launch PT-305! | Today’s the Day!

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The day has finally come! We started this journey with a goal of $100,000, and you—our loyal Crew—blazed through that mark in just three days. Now with just 19 hours to go, we have met our second stretch goal and raised $200,631 to launch PT-305 and return the only restored and operational WWII combat-vet patrol-torpedo boat to her home waters. We are tremendously grateful.

That being said, we still need your help in the waning hours of this fundraiser—every dollar helps! Spread the word, and help us make the most in these final hours of our Kickstarter Campaign!

 

Let’s launch PT-305! 

 

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Volunteers Needed! Welcome WWII Veterans to New Orleans April 13-14

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ABC_3673Help us welcome a very special group of WWII veterans from Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ flying down with Soaring Valor to New Orleans this April 13-14. The veterans visiting will represent all service branches, and  for many of these men and women it will be their first time in New Orleans and their first time seeing our nation’s tribute to their sacrifices.

 

Come out to any of these three opportunities to welcome our nation’s WWII veterans:

  • Welcoming the Veterans at the Hyatt Regency on  Wednesday, April 13 at 4:30 pm
    Join us inside the lobby at the Hyatt Regency at 601 Loyola Avenue in Downtown New Orleans to welcome the veterans as they arrive to their hotel.
  • Welcoming the Veterans to The National WWII Museum in front of the The American Sector Restaurant + Bar on Wednesday, April 13 at 6:30 pm
    Help us give these veterans a grand welcome as they step foot on the Museum grounds for the first time for a special dinner in their honor.
  • Welcome the Veterans for their day exploring the Museum on Thursday, April 14 at 8:20 am
    Meet us outside of The American Sector Restaurant + Bar to get the veterans’ day started with excitement as they begin their day of touring the Museum’s tributes to their sacrifices during World War II.

 

Please feel free to show your support in welcoming these veterans with patriotic posters, signs, and your New Orleans spirit! We hope to see you there for these very special moments!

Learn more about The National WWII Museum’s partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation, Soaring Valor, that brings WWII veterans to the Museum and records their stories for the Museum’s Oral History collection.

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Greater New Orleans National History Day Regional Contest 2016 Results

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Winning Students and Supporters from Helen Cox High School Spelling Out the School's H.C. Initials

Winning Students and Supporters from Helen Cox High School Spelling Out the School’s H.C. Initials

This past Saturday, March 19, The National WWII Museum hosted its Greater New Orleans National History Day regional contest.  National History Day is a student research competition in which students, either as individuals or in groups, conduct research and construct a project on a historical topic of their choice.  Projects in this year’s contest focused on the theme of “Exploration, Encounter & Exchange in History” with student-selected topics ranging from the disappearance of the Roanoke colony to the origins of cheerleading!

At this year’s regional contest, over 240 middle and high school students with over 130 projects in 18 different categories competed throughout the day for a chance to advance their work to the Louisiana State History Day contest which will be held at the Museum on Saturday, April 9 and will feature winning students across the state from the Lafayette, Monroe, Shreveport and Baton Rouge regional contests as well.  The winners from the Louisiana State History Day competition will then travel on to represent the state of Louisiana at the National Contest in Washington D.C..

For these students, the regional contest was the result of many months of researching, writing and perfecting their work. Judging panels evaluated student projects in five different formats—exhibit, research paper, performance, documentary and website – with students placing in the top four of each category advancing to the State Contest.

Congratulations to all the winners and to all the students who participated!

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

 

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PT-305 Turns 73 on March 30, 2016

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twitter-cover-pt305-1500x500-2.29In shipbuilding traditions, a ship’s life begins on the date its keel, the vessel’s foundation, is laid. On March 30, 1943, our vessel PT-305 came into existence and began her life at the City Park Plant of Higgins Industries in New Orleans with the laying of her keel.

View of a Higgins boat assembly line, sign above factory reads "The guy who relaxes helps the axis." Louisiana in the 1940s. From the collection of The National WWII Museum.

View of a Higgins boat assembly line, sign above factory reads “The guy who relaxes helps the axis.” Louisiana in the 1940s. From the collection of The National WWII Museum.

Launched just two months later on May 27, 1943 and completed at the Industrial Canal Plant on December 8, 1943, PT-305 was assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 22 (Ron 22) to defend in the Mediterranean. Operating in the Mediterranean along the coast of Southern France and Northern Italy, with Ron 22, PT-305 participated in the Invasion of Elba on June 18, 1944 and Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France on August 15, 1944.

During the 14 months that PT-305 was deployed in the Mediterranean, she conducted more than 77 offensive patrols and operations, fought in 11 separate actions and sank three German ships. More importantly, she was the home to 44 officers and enlisted men where she served as the backdrop for moving personal stories of war, including the trials of cramped quarters, the terrifying thrill of combat, and humorous tales of shore-leave escapades.

Following her wartime service, PT-305 served as a New York tour boat, a fishing charter, and an oyster boat, undergoing modifications along the way: new, less-costly engines; several new paint jobs; and a dramatic reduction in length by 13 feet.

Throughout the past decade, a dedicated crew of volunteers has been restoring PT-305 back to her wartime glory adding back the 13 feet to her keel and original Packard Engines. In October 2010, the volunteer crew laid the missing piece of PT-305’s keel, marking the start of her renewed life as the world’s only fully restored and operational combat veteran Patrol Torpedo boat.

Now at 73 years old, PT-305 is ready to hit the water once again. Help us return her to her home waters of Lake Pontchartrain, where she was originally tested for combat readiness by Higgins Industries more than 70 years ago.

Back This Project on Kickstarter now!

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Launch PT-305 | We’re Halfway There!

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twitter-cover-pt305-1500x500-2.29PT-305 was in bad repair and un-seaworthy when Tom Czekanski, the Museum’s senior curator and restoration manager, traveled to Galveston Island retrieve her in April 2007.

Media Webpage Restoration_1Tom personally led the effort to have her towed from Back Bay Boat Yard in Galveston, Texas, to The National WWII Museum. That 500-mile trip was only the beginning of the project to return PT-305 to her original glory.

At the beginning of the journey, Tom’s team painted eyes on the front of the boat, which according to nautical legend would help her find her way home. Once back at the Museum, Tom mused, “We didn’t need the eyes anymore, because we had her home at last.”

PT-305 is ready to get back in the water, and today our Kickstarter campaign to help launch her hits its half-way mark. So far we’ve already reached our first stretch goal of $150,000, and we need your help to make our second goal of $200,000.

Help us get there. There are only 14 days to back Launch PT-305 on Kickstarter. Back this project now to put the world’s only restored, fully operational, WWII-veteran PT boat back in the water.


Let’s Launch PT-305.

 

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Launch PT-305 | Great Success! + Stretch Goal #2

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Hi Crew,

With enormous gratitude, we’re happy to report we beat our first stretch goal yesterday! That brings our Kickstarter total to more than $150,000 pledged. In other good news Drafts for Crafts was a tremendous success! We raised over $70,000 on Friday night, which will go directly to finishing PT-305’s restoration.

PT-305 all dolled up for Drafts for Crafts on Friday, March 11, 2016.

PT-305 all dolled up for Drafts for Crafts on Friday, March 11, 2016.


 

On that note we’re announcing a second $50,000 stretch goal to get to a total of $200,000.

We know that with the help of our wonderful supporters we can reach that goal. We’re also releasing another 10 “CDR” $2,500 level rewards.

Thank you all once again for your tremendous support—but the campaign is far from over. We still need your help to share this project! Please continue to share with friends and family via email, social media, and word of mouth.

Let’s launch PT-305!

 

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Launch PT-305 | Update 3: We Did it!

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Hi Crew!

Exciting news: as you have probably seen, we have reached our initial goal of $100,000! Thank you so much for your support! We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.

We also have some exciting news to share. Longtime Museum friend and supporter Gary Sinise has personally donated $50,000 to help launch PT-305 after seeing the momentum generated by this campaign! The combined total of our fully-funded Kickstarter campaign, Gary’s donation, and the Tawani Foundation‘s commitment earlier this week brings us almost halfway to our overall fundraising goal of $500,000.

To celebrate, we’re pleased to announce that we’re releasing another 10 “CDR” $2,500 level rewards. That means 20 people will have the chance to ride on PT-305 once she’s back in Lake Pontchartrain. We’re also announcing a new stretch goal of $50,000. We, and PT-305, need your help more than ever and we think this goal is attainable.

Also, tonight is our third annual Drafts for Crafts, an event put on by The Young Benefactors, a group of young professionals whose mission is to support the restoration and preservation of important WWII artifacts. This year, all proceeds from Drafts for Crafts will benefit the restoration of the Higgins boat PT-305 and its return to the waterways. A splendid array of delicious food and drink will be had, along with entertainment from The Essentials and DJ Matty of Mod Dance Party. It has been amazing to see all of your support. Let’s launch PT-305!

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Launch PT-305 | Update 2: Tawani Foundation is making waves!

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twitter-cover-pt305-1500x500-2.29A huge thanks to the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in association with the Tawani Foundation, who yesterday made a $100,000 commitment to the PT-305 project—including a $10,000 direct pledge to our “Launch PT-305” Kickstarter campaign! This gets us closer to our $100,000 Kickstarter goal and marks a significant step toward our overall fundraising goal.

Speaking of our Kickstarter goal, it’s Day 3 and we’re 90% of the way there! We still need your help to share this project! Please continue to help us get the word out.

We’ll have another exciting announcement tomorrow. Let’s keep the momentum going. Thank you so much for your support, and let’s Launch PT-305!

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