NEW ORLEANS (October 24, 2011) — It was the attack that changed the world, and on December 7, the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the place to listen and learn about it will be in New Orleans at The National World War II Museum’s International Conference on WWII.
WWII heroes, famous historians and ordinary citizens will gather on the Museum’s six-acre campus to commemorate one of the 20th Century’s most important occurrences. Conference attendees will meet surviving members of the legendary Doolittle Raid, talk to eyewitnesses to the Oahu attack and other battles, and glean insights from best-selling authors and award-winning scholars who will describe in detail the epic and bloody clash that followed the Japanese Empire’s attack on Hawaii that thrust America into the global conflict.
The two-and-a-half-day conference begins on December 7 and focuses on the tumultuous first year of American involvement in the war. Titled “From Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal,” it features an array of events and seminars conducted by 18 of the world’s most respected WWII military historians, including Richard Frank, author of Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle and Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, Takeo Iguchi, child of a Japanese diplomat in Washington D.C. who was interned after the attack on Pearl Harbor and author of Demystifying Pearl Harbor: A New Perspective from Japan, Dr. Donald L. Miller, author of The Story of World War II and D-Days in the Pacific, and Hugh Ambrose, author of The Pacific, the best-selling companion book to the HBO mini-series. The Museum will also present veterans and experts on other momentous aspects of WWII.
“With so many of the witnesses gone now, our conference offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to come meet and speak to those who actually endured the fire of history at places like Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal,” said National WWII Museum President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller. “These veterans and the invited historians will help you understand what happened on the Day of Infamy and how the war unfolded across the Pacific. The International Conference is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.”
In addition to attending 14 lectures and discussions, conference participants will be able to meet some of the surviving Doolittle Raiders, veterans of the storied mission. The Raiders, a team led by Lt. Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle, bombed the Japanese home islands for the first time on April 18, 1942. Their mission provided a boost to an America still demoralized from the surprise attacks at Pearl Harbor and at other military defeats across the Pacific. The Raiders’ force consisted of 16 U.S. Army Air Force B-25B Mitchell medium bombers. All planes and 11 fliers were lost, but the nation rejoiced at the symbolic and high-profile blow against the Japanese Empire.
“They’re amazing men,” said Mueller. “And their exploits are the stuff of legend. The Museum is both honored and excited by their attendance this December. It will be a rare and wonderful experience.”
The comprehensive conference plans include far more than the presentations themselves. Evenings will offer a chance to meet and talk with attendees, speakers, and Museum historians over cocktails and fine dining. The closing banquet will feature journalist and film historian Nick Clooney who will present “The Movies That Changed Us,” a discussion of films produced during the war years and films in the postwar era that still influence our thoughts about the war. The Museum’s popular American Sector restaurant, helmed by acclaimed Chef John Besh, is creating a special menu for the occasion.
For those who wish to linger in the city longer, the Museum’s six-acre campus, in the heart of the city’s Warehouse District, lies within walking distance of the French Quarter and many of New Orleans’ legendary restaurants and jazz clubs.
“It is such a rare experience to come to New Orleans and meet heroes who did great things and discuss those deeds with the world’s preeminent historians,” Mueller said. “For anyone interested in connecting with WWII, this conference will be one to remember.”
For more information on the International Conference on World War II, pricing and accommodations, visit the website at http://www.ww2conference.com/ or call the Museum at 877-813-3329 x 511.
UPDATE: The International Conference on WWII is sold out. Find out how you can still experience the veterans, historians and authors from your own home with our webstreaming option. The Museum will also be hosting a full day of events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor — including the opening of our new special exhibit, Infamy — December 1941.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIItoday or visit our Facebook fan page.