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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

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.

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dividing bar 'Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II' Exhibit Opening Mason Lecture: Jonathan Jordan presents 'American Warlords' Whitney Bank Victory Ball

Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II Exhibit Opening
Thursday, July 9, 2015
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join exhibit curator Eric Rivet as he introduces and explains the process of creating the Museum's newest special exhibition, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II. Learn more and RSVP.


Mason Lecture: Jonathan Jordan presents "American Warlords"
Thursday, July 16, 2015
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Jonathan Jordan will discuss his new book, American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II, on how FDR and his lieutenants learned to set aside deep personal and political differences and pull a nation through the 20th century's darkest days. Learn more and RSVP.


Family Overnight 2015
Saturday, July 18, 2015
4:30 pm – 7:30 am
Enjoy sleeping under our B-17 and have a special experience you will talk about all year! The annual Family Overnight is your family's opportunity to experience the Museum in an intimate, fun, and immersive way. Learn more and purchase tickets.

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July 5, 2015
Mason Lecture: Jonathan W. Jordan presents "American Warlords"
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

July 8, 2015
White Glove Wednesdays
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

July 9, 2015
"Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II" Exhibit Opening
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion and Special Exhibition Gallery

July 11, 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

July 12, 2015
Sunday Swing
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
BB's Stage Door Canteen

July 14, 2015
Stage Door Idol - Preliminary Round One
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
BB's Stage Door Canteen

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As we continue through the Road to Tokyo and into the Pacific Campaign Challenges gallery, we come to two immersive exhibits detailing the monumental obstacles American forces had to overcome for victory in the Pacific. Building Bases in the Pacific (Seabees) The vast geography and logistical challenges of the Pacific War led to the creation […]


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As tensions escalated in Europe and Asia, Roosevelt knew he had to prepare the country for war. He was aware that there were critical parts of the manufacturing system that were weak, and that conflict would limit US access to resources in a way that might threaten national security. Using government institutions to support economic […]

The post SciTech Tuesday–When the Rubber Meets the Road appeared first on The National WWII Museum Blog.

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After over a week in New Orleans and Normandy, the Normandy Academy students are nearing the end of their trip. They have enjoyed perfect weather throughout with sunny skies and only one evening rain shower. Cool breezes have kept the beach visits pleasant and marked a major change from their time in New Orleans. On […]

The post Normandy Academy: From the Beaches to the Falaise Gap appeared first on The National WWII Museum Blog.

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President William McKinley High School Yearbook

“Every day many men in the flower of their manhood die in battle.” So begins the introduction to ten pages of memorials to former students and alumni in President William McKinley High School's Class of 1944 yearbook. Yearbooks from the WWII era offer a perspective on a world in upheaval that is both rich and uniquely personal. Of special note is alumnus Shigeo ‘Joe' Takata, the first Japanese American to die fighting in World War II. Sgt. Takata, a member of the 100th Infantry Battalion, was killed in action on September 29, 1943, in the Salerno to Cassino Campaign.

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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Honoring History with History: 15 Years at The National WWII Museum

Since opening in June 6, 2000, The National WWII Museum has offered an immersive and innovative look at the American experience in World War II. Fifteen years of educating visitors from around the globe through state-of-the-art exhibits and poignant personal narratives has earned the Museum a reputation as a top-rated tourist destination, all while preserving the rich historical heritage of the city it calls home.

View more 15th anniversary media resources.


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