NEW ORLEANS (press release) On June 6,The National WWII Museumwill commemorate the 76th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and celebrate the 20th anniversary of its opening as The National D-Day Museum in 2000. Following its Congressional designation as The National WWII Museum in 2004, the institution has dramatically expanded its mission along with its campus to preserve and tell the stories of all Americans who served abroad and on the Home Front during World War II, solidifying itself as one of the top-ranked cultural attractions in the world.
The beginnings of the Museum date back to 1990, when best friends and fellow history professors at the University of New Orleans (UNO) Stephen Ambrose and Nick Mueller discussed plans for a modest D-Day museum on the campus of UNO. Ambrose envisioned a museum that would be a permanent home for the artifacts and oral histories he had collected for his forthcoming book on the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
The journey was far more arduous than they imagined. The concept struggled to gain acceptance and adequate fundinguntil the decision was made to move the project downtown into an old storage building in the Warehouse District, close to the heart of New Orleans tourism. In addition to providing a permanent place of honor for forgotten veterans of World War II, the new location would also pay tribute to entrepreneur and boatbuilder Andrew Jackson Higgins, whose thousands of landing craftbuilt in New Orleanshad been credited by President Dwight Eisenhower as key to winning the war.
Years of eort by UNO and fresh support from local business leaders culminated in a spectacular grand opening celebration and massive veterans parade on June 6, 2000, as the nations attention was drawn to The National D-Day Museum at the corner of Andrew Higgins Drive and Magazine Street. Since that day, the Museum has expanded to a campus of six pavilions (with work under way on a seventh), created extraordinary interactive exhibits and innovative educational programs, raised nearly $400 million dollars for the Road to Victory Capital Campaign and greeted more than 8 million visitors. Beyond its New Orleans campus, the Museum has reached over 500,000 students through distance learning programs, trained over 4,000 teachers onsite and across the country, and provided online historical content for millions across multiple content platforms. Through it all, leadership from the Museums Board of Trustees; support from the local community and the city, state, and federal government; and the inspirational generosity of friends around the country have led the way for each new success.
My friend and Museum founder Stephen Ambrose often spoke of his dream for the Museum to serve as a love song to democracy, said Gordon H. Nick Mueller, PhD, Museum Founding President & CEO Emeritus. I shared his dream and believe it has come true in the hearts and minds of millions who have visited. The Museum will always stand as a salute to those Americans who died in the ght for our freedom as well as those who came home and built our country into the richest and freest nation on earth.
The expanded campus now includes theSolomon Victory Theater, featuring the Tom Hanks-narrated 4D experienceBeyond All Boundaries(opened in 2009); theUS Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center(2013); theCampaigns of Couragepavilion (2014-15) housing its signatureRoad to TokyoandRoad to Berlinexhibits;Arsenal of Democracy(2017), a major exhibit on the Home Front in theLouisiana Memorial Pavilion;The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center(2019); and theHall of Democracypavilion (2019), which houses the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy and the innovative WWII Media and Education Center.
However, to reach this milestone anniversary and these successes, the Museum had to survive two near-bankruptcies in the 1990s, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the economic downturn of 2008, and now the profound financial challenges caused by COVID-19. The pandemic temporarily closed the Museums doors for two months, and visitation for the fiscal year ahead is predicted to be less than half of what was previously expected. Despite the Museum reopening on Memorial Day, May 25, the road to a full recovery is expected to take years.
Our Museum is facing the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis with the same unflinching dedication and determination needed to overcome every difficult time in our history, said Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO. We only need to walk our own galleries to find the inspiration to prevail through adversity and an unpredictable future. Whether visitors are walking our physical campus or learning through our digital education platforms, it is clear that our mission continues and must endure.
Those challenges include building back the Museums visitation, which approached 800,000 annual visitors at the close of 2019, while expanding its national outreach through distance learning, research, conferences and overseas travel programs. Despite the current obstacles, the Museum is also working with a great sense of urgency to complete the final phase of its capital expansion plan while WWII veterans are still able to experience what is being built in their honor. As the Museum commemorates the 75thanniversary of the end of World War II this year, less than 300,000 WWII veterans are still alive today.
The final expansion projects currently underway include the architectural centerpieceBollinger Canopy of Peace(2020), made possible through a $20 million donation by Boysie and Joy Bollinger, and the campus capstoneLiberation Pavilion(2022), focusing on the wars legacy of freedom for America and the world.
Sadly, my friend Stephen Ambrose died in October 2002, but he lived long enough to witness the early success and rave reviews of visitors from across the nation, said Mueller. Steve saw concept plans for an expansion beyond the D-Day story into the larger vision for an epic museum that would one day cover three city blocks and hold exhibits in seven pavilions to portray the American WWII experience.
If he was still alive, said Mueller of Ambrose, he would be bursting with pride and gratitude. I certainly am.
- Remember These Headlines? - Highlands Current - July 5th, 2020
- Peril of face recognition tech: Facing the end of freedom, one face at a time. Supreme Court must intervene - Times of India - July 5th, 2020
- Navy Will Mothball Its First Four Littoral Combat Ships In Nine Months If Congress Lets It - The Drive - July 5th, 2020
- West Virginia Week in Review - July 4, 2020 - West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources - July 5th, 2020
- Higher gas taxes, other tax increases to greet Virginians on Wednesday - The Center Square - July 5th, 2020
- Controversial school immunization bill signed into law - BerthoudSurveyor.com - July 5th, 2020
- Defunding The Police Has Traction In Dallas, But What's On The Table? - KERA News - July 5th, 2020
- Ready, set, go! Early voting starts this week - East Valley Tribune - July 5th, 2020
- NSWC Dahlgren Division mathematician wins three awards for innovation impacting high performance computing - fredericksburg.today - July 5th, 2020
- Iceland Reopening With Its Economic Freedom Largely Intact - Daily Signal - June 24th, 2020
- Tips and Murmurs: is the Collaery case about to open up? - Crikey - June 24th, 2020
- Around Town: WWII Museum offers Victory Six Swing Band July 2 - Journal Record - June 24th, 2020
- In CA: The mask argument continues; schools jump into the debate on racism and policing - USA TODAY - June 24th, 2020
- Rep. Dina Titus urges Appropriations Committee to block Trump Administration from conducting explosive nuclear testing in Nevada - KLAS - 8 News Now - June 24th, 2020
- Everything To Know About The H-1B Visa That Has Been Suspended Till The End Of 2020 - ScoopWhoop - June 24th, 2020
- White Jews fled to the suburbs. Here's why that matters today. - The Jewish News of Northern California - June 24th, 2020
- GOP members of House Foreign Affairs Committee urge Trump to reconsider US troop withdrawal from Germany - Washington Examiner - June 24th, 2020
- Two thousand march with call to defund police; Council's $4.1M order was a 'drop in the bucket' - Cambridge Day - June 24th, 2020
- Quebec To Introduce The Most Punitive Privacy Laws In Canada - With Fines Of Up To $25 Million - Privacy - Canada - Mondaq News Alerts - June 24th, 2020
- For one Iraqi refugee, Columbus finally feels like home this World Refugee Day - The Columbus Dispatch - June 20th, 2020
- Troy H. Middleton's name to be removed from LSU's main library - Greater Baton Rouge Business Report - June 20th, 2020
- 'This is amazing,' says mayor as Iowa City Council passes resolution to restructure ICPD and address other demands of the Iowa Freedom Riders - Little... - June 20th, 2020
- Salomone: Juneteenth and Today - Greenwich Free Press - June 20th, 2020
- Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 pm CDT - KBTX - June 20th, 2020
- Dear Tito: Heres where to cut tax, make grants to save SA. MUST READ! #budget - BizNews - June 20th, 2020
- Debt settlement: An effective way of reducing debt - AZ Big Media - June 13th, 2020
- Strengthening our armed forces - The Highland County Press - June 13th, 2020
- Defunding the Police Is Not Nearly Enough - New York Magazine - June 13th, 2020
- Advocates Push To "Defund The Police" While Officials Call For Reforms - WVXU - June 13th, 2020
- Burrows disappointed with sports budget cuts EyeWitness News - EyeWitness News - June 13th, 2020
- Over $722,000 awarded to protect and improve Florida military installations - Florida Politics - June 13th, 2020
- Global Perspective: As US, China lock horns, Japan, others must think about ways ahead - The Mainichi - June 13th, 2020
- Golf course move on Caven Point is obscene; Honor the flag | Letters - nj.com - June 13th, 2020
- The return of the tea party | News, Sports, Jobs - Minot Daily News - June 13th, 2020
- PM Modi says command and control regime over, lets plug and play - Hindustan Times - June 13th, 2020
- June 12: She clearly does not understand what it is. Readers react to RCMP head disputing systemic racism, plus other letters to the editor - The... - June 13th, 2020
- Shame on Olmsted Falls mayor for his rant about the cost of policing George Floyd protest - cleveland.com - June 13th, 2020
- If youre surprised by how the police are acting, you dont understand US history - The Guardian - June 6th, 2020
- Opinion: The conservative path to a fairer country - National Post - June 6th, 2020
- The Movement To Defund DC Police - Washington City Paper - June 6th, 2020
- Tailoring the Socioeconomic Response to COVID-19 in Peacebuilding Contexts - UNDP - June 6th, 2020
- Nigeria In The Eyes Of The World On Freedoms - The Nigerian Voice - June 6th, 2020
- OPINION: NIGERIA IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD ON FREEDOMS - thewillnigeria - June 6th, 2020
- A Leg Up in the Search for Prosperity: Economic Freedom - Governing - June 1st, 2020
- COVID-19 reveals conflict, compassion of Kansans wrestling with threat of pandemic - Leavenworth Times - June 1st, 2020
- Rich Lowry: The return of the tea party - Salt Lake Tribune - June 1st, 2020
- To Rebuild the Economy, India Needs to Be Atmanirbhar in Ideas - The Wire - June 1st, 2020
- Beyond the doomsday machine: Reimagining economic policies and practice in a post-Covid world - Daily Maverick - June 1st, 2020
- Opinion:Buying the Third Congressional District | LAMonitor.com - Los Alamos Monitor - June 1st, 2020
- COVID-19 and the future of world trade | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal - voxeu.org - June 1st, 2020
- CBD Sydney: Traces of loyalty in hunt for Turnbull superspreaders - Sydney Morning Herald - June 1st, 2020
- More than $250000 spent in race for Mehaffie's 106th House District seat; money mostly coming from PACs - Middletown Press and Journal - June 1st, 2020
- 'Centre Has Offered Nothing Against Jobs Lost By Informal Workers, Circular Migrants' | - IndiaSpend - June 1st, 2020
- The world in front of the mirror - Explica - June 1st, 2020
- Violation of service code - The Tribune India - May 11th, 2020
- Letters to the Editor 5-10-2020: Pannebecker rebuttals - The Macomb Daily - May 11th, 2020
- Godfrey calls on Washington to immediately approve more stimulus - Patch.com - May 11th, 2020
- Are you left-wing or right-wing? Probably both. The Oxford Student - Oxford Student - May 11th, 2020
- For the Europe of tomorrow - EuroScientist - May 11th, 2020
- Framework for the Management of COVID-19 Funds in Nigeria under the Treasury Single Account - Proshare Nigeria Limited - May 11th, 2020
- Nikes Air Jordan 1 Has Entered the Influencer Age - The Ringer - May 11th, 2020
- Shaw warns that Freedom Mobile isn't adding as many customers as planned due to COVID-19 - CBC.ca - April 11th, 2020
- Clarification of UCSC policy and expectations on funding researchers during the temporary cessation of non-essential on-campus research due to... - April 11th, 2020
- MI Governor Leads the Way with Water Reconnection Order - Natural Resources Defense Council - April 11th, 2020
- How S.C. lawmakers increase their odds of staying in power - The Nerve - March 26th, 2020
- MTS Awarded Seismic Simulation Project Valued At Over $70 Million For China's National Facility For Earthquake Engineering Simulation At Tianjin... - March 26th, 2020
- Letters to the editor, March 26, 2020 | Opinion - Idaho Press-Tribune - March 26th, 2020
- Junk rating this week may be least of SA's problems - Fin24 - March 26th, 2020
- Junk rating likely the least of South Africas problems - BusinessTech - March 26th, 2020
- Brexiteer claims coronavirus could spell end of eurozone but there's a catch - Express.co.uk - March 26th, 2020
- Statement of the Hellenic Chapter of Republicans Overseas- Abroad on Greek Independence Day - The National Herald - March 26th, 2020
- Governor calls for stronger collaboration with Kilili - Marianas Variety - March 26th, 2020
- Will the market stabilise in the second half of 2020, what experts say? - Kalkine Media - March 26th, 2020
- A pandemic, an economic blow and the big fix - The Hindu - March 24th, 2020
- 12:28 Heritage Foundation: Armenia needs to improve judicial effectiveness to have freer economy - Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am - March 24th, 2020
- D4 Billion Debt Repayment in the face of a Pandemic - Freedom Newspaper - March 24th, 2020
- Why the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet Is Still One Dangerous Fighter - The National Interest - March 24th, 2020
- Opinion | The world should be wary of smoking the China pipe again - Livemint - March 24th, 2020
- Coronavirus has shattered the myth that the economy must come first - The Guardian - March 24th, 2020
- Mnuchin and McConnell Say Cash for Companies Is Not a Bailout - The Fiscal Times - March 24th, 2020