Pelican State

The Pelican State Goes to War

Louisiana in World War II

Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us. If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to historian Stephen Ambrose, 1964

While the United States officially entered World War II on December 8, 1941, Louisiana had already been front and center in the country’s defense preparations for war. From 1939 to 1945, Louisiana hosted the largest maneuvers in US military history, witnessed massive changes to its industrial base, and saw its citizens become major part of the American victory. Louisiana contributed over $830 million to war bond drives, produced over 20,000 vessels, and more than a billion gallons of 100-octane aviation fuel. Louisianans Claire Chennault and Andrew Higgins rose to fame in World War II, while future leaders Robert Barrow and Lindy Boggs would later draw from their experiences in World War II. The war afforded new opportunities to the state’s citizens that were previously unimaginable. Louisiana’s wartime experiences laid the groundwork for sweeping social and economic changes in the postwar era.


On December 8, 1941, just one day after the Pearl Harbor attacks, the United States officially entered World War II—Louisiana, however, was already front and center in the country’s defense preparations. From 1940 to 1945, Louisiana hosted the largest maneuvers in US military history, witnessed massive changes to its industrial base, and saw its citizens become enthusiastic contributors to what President Franklin Roosevelt deemed “The Arsenal of Democracy.” The war afforded new, previously unimaginable opportunities to Louisiana’s residents. Through it all, these wartime experiences in the Pelican State laid the groundwork for sweeping economic changes in the new, postwar world that emerged from the 20th century’s greatest struggle.

Presented by The Alta and John Franks Foundation

Available for Booking Only Within the State of Louisiana

  • Exhibition not available for booking after January 2023

Booking Terms

  • Six-week minimum booking period
  • $2,500 booking fee plus inbound shipping; fee can be waived if exhibit is offered to the general public for free

Travel Schedule

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lafayette, LA
May 3, 2021 to August 27, 2021

Nicholls State University
Thibodaux, LA
November 1, 2021 to December 15, 2021

Hammond Regional Arts Center
Hammond, LA
May 6, 2022 to June 17, 2022

West Baton Rouge Museum
Port Allen, LA
January 22, 2022 to March 20, 2022

Louisiana National Guard Museum, Jackson Barracks
New Orleans, LA
August 14, 2022 to January 07, 2023

Jackson Barracks
New Orleans, LA

August 16, 2022 to January 9, 2023

Installation Logistics

Host Requirements

  • Minimum of 1,800 square feet
  • Secure exhibit space that is staffed during open hours
  • Gallery lighting (exhibit is not self-lit)
  • Minimum of two-person installation crew
  • Certificate of Insurance

Support Provided

  • Exhibit layout and design assistance from the WWII Museum exhibit designer
  • Exhibit installation and packing guide
  • Installation supervision and assistance by the WWII Museum Traveling Exhibit Manager
Press and Marketing Materials

The National WWII Museum has created the press and graphic packages linked below to ensure our Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II traveling exhibit will reach the widest audience at your venue.

In accordance with the contract, any publicity materials—including e-publicity—must be sent to our traveling exhibitions department for review and approval prior to printing and distribution.




  • Consultation with marketing and communications staff
Education Resources

Education Package

  • Includes exhibit-themed lesson plans, fact sheets, and activity sheets.
  • Download

Additional Resources

  • One on-site professional development workshop (2–3 hour workshop)
  • One distance-learning program for students
  • Curator lecture (when available, additional fees apply)

Support Provided

  • Consultation with assistant director of education for curriculum, assistant director for public programs, and the assistant director of education for interpretation.
  • Additional educational resources
Application and Forms

Are you interested in bringing this exhibit to your institution? Please review our current schedule/availability, installation logistic page, and the forms below and contact us by phone or email if you need more information. Once you have reviewed all the information, please submit all materials and we will review and inform you of any concerns regarding a potential exhibit presentation. If you are approved as a host venue, we will contact you and proceed with contracting. 

Submit by mail to:

Traveling Exhibits Manager
The National WWII Museum
945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, 70130

Submit by email to:

Pre-Host Forms
Download, fill out, and scan or mail the Host Application and Facility Report below. The Facility Report provides a record of the latest information about an institution's physical specifications and staff practices, and will help us better serve your institution's needs.
Traveling exhibit application
Facility Report 

Post-Host Form
Please fill out the following report when the exhibit closes at your institution. It will help us improve host institutions' experiences and learn visitation patterns, as well as information regarding associated educational programs and events.
Final Report