Telling the story of how the war was won is at the heart of The National WWII Museum’s mission, and The Arsenal of Democracy: The Herman and George R. Brown Salute to the Home Front—the Museum's newest permanent exhibit, located on the second level of the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion, the Museum’s original building—literally brings that story home.
The exhibit joins the WWII narrative that visitors experience across the Museum’s six-acre campus, with galleries that explore the road to war and then how the war was fought on the Home Front. Allied victory was an epic undertaking fueled by stateside industry, ingenuity, and the labor of millions of patriotic Americans. Through multimedia and interactive displays, and drawing on artifacts and oral histories from the Museum’s extensive collections, The Arsenal of Democracy creates countless opportunities for visitors to make personal connections with the men and women who helped win the war.
The entryway to The Arsenal of Democracy features a looping video and striking “E for Excellence” banner to attract the eye and introduce the themes of manufacturing and the iconography of WWII America.
This gallery covers the historical events that preceded the outbreak of World War II, examining the mounting pressures that would engulf the world in bitter war.
The period between the outbreak of World War II in Europe and the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941 is the focus of this gallery, which explores the passionate debate between America's split factions: isolationists and interventionists.
This impactful gallery is dominated by a 50-foot-wide projection screen—a suitably vast surface on which to display the shock and chaos of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941.
The onset of World War II unified America—a moment that is the focus of this gallery—as American media joined the US government in publishing iconic WWII propaganda.
This gallery, which immerses visitors in a 1942-style home, conveys a sense of the daily lives of American families during World War II.
While the cause of victory over the Axis powers united Americans, this gallery examines the racial supremacy championed by the Axis powers, which also refracted light on issues of national loyalty and race in America.
This experiential gallery, set in a military barracks environment, highlights the massive effort to rapidly train and mobilize millions of civilians to become the nation’s troops in combat zones around the world.
As war raged, American industry poured out weapons and war material in staggering amounts, utilizing scientific and technological innovation along the way—the focus of this gallery.
The final gallery engages visitors in an immersive Los Alamos environment, detailing the massive scientific, technological, and military effort which ushered in the Atomic Age.
Joe Louis was boxing's heavyweight world champion when he joined the US Army and fought for his country and his community.
Dancer Patty Thomas was often showcased by her boss and troupe leader Bob Hope as a living embodiment of what American troops were fighting for. Thomas brought levity and youthful femininity to the staging areas of the harshest fighting in the Pacific.
A highlight of some of the best programs the Museum has hosted over the years on our home state Louisiana.
Institute for the Study of War and Democracy Roundtable featuring Conrad C. Crane, PhD.
Frances Langford was an inspiring vocalist who devoted much of her wartime career to the entertainment of those in service. She was known as the “GI Nightingale,” and her performances had the power to temporarily transport troops from the battlefield into the arms of their sweethearts.
Denise Kiernan's The Girls of Atomic City captures a wonderful social history of how women made the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee successful.
Mildred V. Payne and Dorothy Seder were just two of the 7.5 million individuals who volunteered with the American Red Cross during World War II.
Dorothy Britt (later Mann) was one of only 1,100 women who trained as pilots with the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Through artifacts from her service and stories of her experiences, she continues to inspire.