The Pelican State Goes To War
Louisiana Sports Hall Of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum
February 1, 2019 to March 15, 2019

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, the state 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.” 
 
“World War II provided new, previously unimaginable opportunities to Louisiana’s residents,”  said the exhibition’s curator, James Linn. “This exhibition will highlight the heroic stories of people like Claire Chennault, who created an early warning system to help protect China’s air force against Japanese attacks; and Richard English, who served in the African American 761st Tank Battalion and later became an advocate for Civil Rights. These unique wartime experiences, which were born in Louisiana, also helped lay the groundwork for sweeping economic changes in the postwar world.”