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Special Exhibit: From Barbed Wire to Battlefields: Japanese American Experiences in WWII

During WWII, individuals of Japanese ancestry in the United States, predominantly American citizens, had their lives turned upside down. They were seen by many as the enemy, their loyalty to the nation was questioned and their basic rights were stripped as nearly 120,000 men, women and even children were confined in camps for years, without benefit of trial. Despite this treatment, 33,000 Japanese Americans served their country in Europe and the Pacific, earning numerous honors. The effects of these wartime experiences serve as a lasting reminder to the nation and the entire world of the often-fragile nature of a country’s principles in the face of war.

This special exhibit is on display through October 2014.

Find out more.

Follow us on Twitter @wwiitoday for regular updates on 70th anniversaries in America’s WWII story featuring images, oral histories and artifacts from the Museum’s collection.

Visit our calendar for information on upcoming programs and events at the Museum or sign up for our email list to receive regular updates.


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dividing bar Lunchbox Lecture Meet the Author Smithsonian Museum Day

Lunchbox Lecture
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Tom Gibbs presents "The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Peleliu." Pre-order your lunch and pick it in The Soda Shop before the next lecture. Call 528-1944 x 210 for the daily soup and sandwich special and to place your order!


Meet the Author
Thursday, September 25, 2014
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
The Art of Gaman by Delphine Hirasuna
The Art of Gaman relates how the internees practiced the discipline of gaman enduring the seemingly impossible with patience and dignity by creating objects of beauty and utility out of scrap and found materials. Author Delphine Hirasuna presents. RSVP now.


Smithsonian Museum Day
Saturday, September 27, 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
As a Smithsonian affiliate, The National WWII Museum is proud to promote local culture and education with free admission on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live.
Advance tickets required. Reserve your tickets today.

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September 17, 2014
White Glove Wednesdays
9:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

September 17, 2014
"America's Wartime Sweethearts: A Tribute to The Andrews Sisters"
11:45 am buffet seating
Stage Door Canteen

September 17, 2014
Lunchbox Lecture
12:00 pm ‐ 1:00 pm
H. Mortimer Favrot Orientation Center

September 20, 2014
Knit-in at the Museum
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

September 20, 2014
"Thanks for the Memories: Bob Hope and His All-Star Pacific Tour"
6:00 pm dinner seating, 8:00 pm show only ticket
Stage Door Canteen

September 20, 2014
Family Workshop: Code School
10:00 am – 11:30 am

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The National WWII Museum strives to teach the lessons of WWII history to learners of all ages. As the new school year heats up, we’re proud to offer four specialty websites that bring WWII history to life for students ranging from elementary through high school. For High School: See You Next Year! High School Yearbooks […] Read More


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! During World War II, soldiers sought to remember their experiences in many different ways. For many, it was the first time out of their home […] Read More


This morning we were visited by artifact donors from Texas who made the trip to New Orleans to share material with the Museum. We sat and went through the collection together, looking over the service material from Albert Dean Bryant from Midland, Texas. Bryant served with the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 7th Armored […] Read More



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High School Yearbooks from WWII

“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 WWII. Sgt. Takata, a member of the 100th Infantry Battalion, was killed in action on 29 September 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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D-Day Timeline

For over two and a half years the Allies planned and gathered their military strength to hurl into the decisive amphibious invasion of northern France and strike a mortal blow against the empire of Nazi Germany. In anticipation, Adolf Hitler stockpiled reserves across French coastlines into the Atlantic Wall defenses, determined to drive the Allied forces back into the sea. There will be no second chance for the Allies: the fate of their cause hangs upon this decisive day.

Here are pieces of the story of D-Day, told through the words and eyes of those who were there.


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