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NOTICE: Andrew Higgins Drive is temporarily closed to vehicles and pedestrians between Camp Street and Magazine Street for the construction of a new Founders Plaza at The National WWII Museum. The Museum's main entrance for the duration of construction is at 945 Magazine Street.

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Tom Lea: LIFE and World War II

Special Exhibit on View
June 24, 2016 – January 1, 2017

The Museum's newest exhibit, Tom Lea: LIFE and World War II, features 26 iconic pieces of original works from LIFE magazine war correspondent and artist Tom Lea. An El Paso, Texas, native, Lea covered many aspects of the war—from experiencing convoy battles in the North Atlantic firsthand to hitting the beach at Peleliu in the Pacific with US Marines. In its June 11, 1945, issue, LIFE devoted seven pages to Lea's stark, visceral images of the Battle of Peleliu, including one of the most publicly recognizable artworks of the war, That 2,000 Yard Stare, which shows a hollow-eyed US Marine conveying the often unseen psychological wounds of combat veterans. Supplementing the artwork—which is on loan from the US Army Center of Military History—will be interpretive text panels produced by the Museum with content provided by the Tom Lea Institute. Additional artifacts will include Lea's drawing table, brushes, and easel on loan from the Tom Lea Institute, and sketches drawn by Lea on loan from the collection of Judy and Jamey Clement. Oral histories of Peleliu veterans collected by the Museum will also be featured. The collection will be on display until January 1, 2017.

Sponsored by The Woldenberg Foundation. Additional support provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, and James III, Judy, and Jamey Clement. Special thanks to Adair Margo, the Tom Lea Institute, and the US Army Center of Military History.

Content advisory:
This exhibit contains images of a very graphic nature, including scenes that may be too intense for younger viewers. Parental guidance is suggested.

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 Sunday Swing Lunchbox Lecture Special Presentation

Sunday Swing
Sunday, July 31
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Professional swing dancers are on hand to provide coaching for dancers of all levels while local musicians play WWII-era hits. Learn more.


Lunchbox Lecture
Wednesday, August 3
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mike Alexander presents The Battle of Mortain
Learn more.


Special Presentation
Tuesday, September 6
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tom Lea: Art and War in the 20th Century
Learn more and RSVP.

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The War in the Pacific Classroom Resources

From the Collection to the Classroom Volume 1: The War in the Pacific is a multimedia resource for teaching middle and high school students the history of World War II. In addition to primary source-based lesson plans, which align with the Common Core State Standards and National Standards for History, the curriculum includes topical overview essays, reference materials, and two introductory essays and a video from a World War II scholar. A rich array of resources—from archival documents, photographs, and artifacts to oral histories, maps, and videos from the Museum's collections and galleries—also accompany each lesson plan and overview essay.

Visit the website to view and download classroom materials on the War in the Pacific.

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End of War

Following the surrender of Nazi Germany, Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day), on May 8, 1945, was marked by celebration among the Allies. However, for many the spirit of victory was subdued by the knowledge that the task of defeating Japan still remained.

As the guns fell silent in Europe, a noose was being drawn around the Japanese home islands. Relentless American submarine attacks slowed the flow of food, oil, and other resources to a trickle, and American B-29s firebombed Japan's urban and industrial bases to cinders. It was clear to most that Japan could not possibly hope to prevail.

Learn more.


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