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NEWS:

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Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII

Special Exhibit on View
July 4, 2015—May 30, 2016

Presented in New Orleans by The Coca-Cola Foundation

Official Program Sponsor 

Official Program Sponsor: Entergy

 Media Partners  

Media Partners: iHeart Media and New Orleans Advocate

In the years leading up to World War II, racial segregation and discrimination were part of daily life for many in the United States. For most African Americans, even the most basic rights and services were fragmented or denied altogether. To be black was to know the limits of freedom—excluded from the very opportunity, equality, and justice on which the country was founded.

Yet, once World War II began, thousands of African Americans rushed to enlist, intent on serving the nation that treated them as second-class citizens. They were determined to fight to preserve the freedom that they themselves had been denied. This is their story.

Visit the exhibit microsite to learn more.

Plan your visit to the Museum today.

Visit our calendar for information on upcoming programs and events at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans or sign up for our email list to receive regular updates.

dividing bar Exhibits Plan a Visit Honor Roll Beyond All Boundaries Stage Door Canteen American Sector dividing bar

FEATURED EVENTS:

dividing bar Meet the Author: The Official Book Launch of Alex Kershaw's New Book 'Avenue of Spies' Lunchbox Lecture Celebrating the End of the War

Meet the Author: The Official Book Launch of Alex Kershaw's New Book "Avenue of Spies"
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Alex Kershaw's Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family's Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris introduces us to the brave doctor who risked everything to defy Hitler. Learn more and RSVP.

 

Lunchbox Lecture: Seth Paridon presents "70th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Veterans Perspectives"
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Research Manager Seth Paridon will discuss the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their significance in bringing an end to the war in the Pacific. Learn more.

 

Celebrating the End of the War
Saturday, August 15, 2015
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
On August 14, 1945, word spread in the US that Japan had surrendered and the fighting was over. Although the surrender documents were not officially signed until September 2, 1945, spontaneous celebrations broke out across the country. Learn more.

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TAKE ACTION:

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WHAT'S ON:

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August 4, 2015
Meet the Author: The Official Book Launch of Alex Kershaw's New Book "Avenue of Spies"
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

August 4, 2015
Stage Door Idol - Preliminary Round Four
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
BB's Stage Door Canteen

August 5, 2015
Lunchbox Lecture
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
H. Mortimer Favrot Orientation Center

August 5, 2015
"America's Wartime Sweethearts: A Tribute to The Andrews Sisters"
11:45 am Buffet Seating
BB's Stage Door Canteen

August 5, 2015
White Glove Wednesdays
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

August 8, 2015
"Sentimental Journey: The Big Bands of World War II"
6:00 pm Dinner Seating, 8:00 pm Show Only Ticket
BB's Stage Door Canteen

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MUSEUM BLOG:

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As we continue down the Road to Tokyo and through the last half of the Island Hopping gallery, we come upon two exhibit spaces detailing the invasions of the Marshall and Marianas Islands, which brought Allied forces one step closer to victory in the Pacific.   Marshall Islands Campaign This exhibit will detail the major […]

The post ROAD TO TOKYO COUNTDOWN: EXHIBITS WITHIN ISLAND HOPPING appeared first on The National WWII Museum Blog.

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Last Friday evening, the Museum hosted 27 wonderful teachers of 5th-8th grade students from across the country, and celebrated an incredible week of learning together. For a week these teachers, from 15 states and the District of Columbia, from public and private schools, urban, suburban and rural schools, spent time learning about new ways of […]

The post SciTech Tuesday: Real World Science appeared first on The National WWII Museum Blog.

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Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during WWII and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today! Around this time of year, it’s easy to put the bicycle away and take the car to the corner store four blocks away just to avoid the […]

The post Home Front Friday: Ride a Bike! appeared first on The National WWII Museum Blog.

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FEATURED ARTIFACT:

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1944 Topeka High School Sunflower Yearbook

The motivation for many African Americans fighting for their right to fight in World War II was the hope that, by displaying determination and bravery on the battlefield, conditions might improve for black civilians on the Home Front. In the 1940s, conditions varied for African Americans depending on their geographic locale, occupation, and gender. Across the United States, racial segregation in schools and in the workforce was upheld by law. The discriminatory policy of "separate but equal" manifested itself in many different ways; some brutally apparent, others more subtle. The latter approach to racial segregation can be seen in the pages of the 1944 Sunflower yearbook of Topeka High School in Topeka, Kansas. In the early pages of the Sunflower, we are greeted by the familiar sight of prom royalty; however, only a few pages later we see a second set of prom kings and queens: separate prom courts, one white and one black. Despite being academically integrated since its founding, all sports, clubs, and extra-curricular activities at Topeka High School during World War II were strictly segregated by race.

View the yearbook in the Museum's online collection, See You Next Year: High School Yearbooks from WWII, to find out more.


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FOCUS ON:

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Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII

Our newest exhibition, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII is a poignant retelling of the stories of the thousands of African Americans who rushed to enlist at the start of the war, intent on serving the country that treated them as second-class citizens. Open since July 4, the special exhibit discusses how hopes of equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated non-combat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for "Double Victory" that laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement.

View the microsite to learn more.

 

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