The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II

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 Delano 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.

Pelican State Goes to War Events

  • Friday, November 1 – Exhibit up

Exhibition opens to the public

  • Friday, November 8: Member Preview Reception

6 – 8 PM, Members welcome

  • Tuesday, November 19: Panel Discussion

5:30 – 7 PM, Free and Open to the Public

Join AMoA staff and our guest panel for a discussion about World War II and Louisiana’s involvement in the war. Made up of scholars who focus on the war including Dr. Jerry Sanson, Hayley Johnson, Dr. Thomas Howell, Richard Moran as well as James Linn, the curator of The Pelican State Goes to War, this discussion will focus on the influence those in Louisiana had on the war efforts.

  • Saturday, December 7: Community Sharing Day

1 – 3 PM, Free and Open to the Public

Do you have a collection from relatives or friends involved in World War II? Join us at AMoA to share your collection with others from 1-3 PM! Sign up through the AMoA website to claim a table.

  • Thursday, December 19: Victory Belles performance.

6:00 PM, Free for Members, $12 admission for non-members

The National WWII Museum’s musical trio, the Victory Belles, will perform a concert at the museum during The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II. The Victory Belles will perform a number of songs popular during World War II in the Swing Era style as well as holiday classics, many of which were written in the time period as well.

  • January 16: Sara Quintana Concert

6:00 PM, Free for Members, $12 admission for non-members

In addition to a workshop with middle and high school students in the afternoon, singer/songwriter Sarah Quintana will present a concert of her Love Letters, jazz-inspired French songs inspired by love letters written by French Soldiers during World War II. Join us for a unique and meaningful concert connected with The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II.

  • Saturday, January 25: Curator lunch & learn with James Linn – WW2 Museum’s curator of the exhibit

12:30 PM $5 admission, pre-registration required

Join AMoA and The Pelican State Goes to War Curator James Linn for a meal and learn more about the exhibition and Louisiana in World War II.

  • Tuesday, Feb 4: Band of Brothers episode screening with discussion

5:30 PM Free and open to the public

The HBO series Band of Brothers featured the stories of the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (known as the Easy Company) through their training and the war. One of the company members, Eugene (Doc) Roe, was a resident of Denham Springs. Join us for a screening of an episode of Band of Brothers featuring “Doc” Roe as well as a discussion about the episode.

  • February 20: Renegade Tour

6:30 PM Free and Open to Adults

Do you feel like most museums are too stuffy or educational for you? Then the AMoA renegade tours are right up your alley! Join AMoA and our guest guide Mike Tudor for a fun storytelling tour through our exhibitions, you never know what new perspective you may gain about the exhibitions!