The WWII Museum is the best museum I've ever been too. It's interactive, it's beautifully done and it has amazing information. Plan nearly a full day if you want to go. I spent 3 hours just in the Europe exhibit. There is so much to see and do while you're there. Take in the movie at the end of the day too - it's 4D and amazing.
The write up done by this museum claims it is one of the best attended museums in the country and on the Memorial Day that we visited I might agree. The museum is housed in several buildings and there is more building to go. A new feature is found in "The Road To Berlin" which tells the tale of the American army as it fought in North Africa, Italy and Europe. The main building houses a museum which tells the tale of the war both in Europe and in the Pacific. At the north back side of the complex, there is the tall Boeing Air Museum which houses several bombers and fighter aircraft from the later era of WW II, as well as some tanks and vehicles. Catwalks up high give you close up views of the suspended planes. A separate building houses a theater which entertains for an extra cost to the admission ticket.
For someone who doesn't know much about WW II, the museum will illuminate. Interactive exhibits include giving you a chance to follow individuals - a preselected few - throughout the course of the war. The museum is a bit expensive, especially if you add in the extras like the submarine experience and the Tom Hanks movie. It is kind of hard to display the entire gamut of WW II in a museum where you view it in a couple of hours, but the museum tries hard to keep up your interest. I found the Nimitz/Bush Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas to give a much better picture of the War in the Pacific. The war in Europe is related better. A building devoted to the Liberation of Europe is in early phases of construction.
The National World War II Museum used to be known as the D-Day Museum. The reason behind locating a museum dedicated to D-Day and other amphibious landings during the course of World War II was that the vehicles that were used to land on the beaches during these operations were built in New Orleans. The museum when it was opened in 2000 on June 6th, was originally just about these particular operations. Since then the museum has expanded it scope considerably, detail the Northwest Europe and Pacific campaigns. There are many artifacts, weaponry and dioramas visible from these campaigns. The causes of the war are discussed also to help educate us what exactly the war was fought for. Overall it has been very well done. I applaud the curators of the museum for making mention of the racism directed towards the Japanese in the American propaganda campaign. They also mention the shameful internment of the Japanese Americans during the war. I was somewhat disappointed in the fact that for museum that is supposedly covering the whole war there seems to be little discussion of the war that American allies fought such as the Eastern European Theater. Since the museum as was when I visited in October 2013 was only half complete, maybe there will be more exhibits on these other theaters. Do not miss the Freedom Pavilion which is detached from the main building. Here you will see many tanks and airplanes used during the war. Also notable and worthy of your time is the Stage Door Canteen which is a café set up as it would have been during the war and the very good shop which has quite a large collection of good books on the Second World War.
The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm. It costs $18 for an adult to visit.
The World War II Museum in New Orleans (formerly the D-Day Museum) is well-researched and beautifully laid out, focusing not only on the Normandy invasion but also on other aspects of World War II. It's located in this city because of New Orleans boat builder Andrew Higgins, whose landing craft (LCVP, a.k.a. Higgins Boat) ensured the success of the D-Day invasion in 1944.
I've been to museums where war was presented as a glorious undertaking, with trumpets blowing and banners waving and God on our side -- no mention of the fear and blood and ugliness -- and I had expected a similar slant from a military museum in the American South. I was wrong. The museum courageously gives a warts-and-all view of WWII. It tells about doubts and worries and strategy gone awry, and includes first-person accounts from everyone in the military hierarchy, from frightened young Marines, sitting in Higgins boats off Omaha Beach, to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, agonizing over whether to give the "go" order or wait. The museum also includes displays of propaganda from both the Allied and Axis sides, with a discussion about demonizing the enemy.
Throughout the museum there are little film nooks where a handful of people can sit and watch video clips and slide shows. On one tape, one soldier spoke about shocking scenes at a concentration camp: mountains of bodies, a whole room full of jawbones. "I've never talked much about it," he admitted.
Another said that, just before they hit the beach at Normandy, his buddy turned to him and said in panic, "I can't swim."
"Don't worry," he assured him, "they'll take us right up to land." ... except that someone hit the release for the ramp too early, while the boat was still in deep water. His friend was carried off by a massive wave and never even made it onto the beach.
There were so many poignant stories from different viewpoints, which is what makes history fascinating to me.
The museum has been expanded, and there's a lot to see. Check the website for special exhibits and allow three hours to wander through - the time goes quickly.
The D-Day / WWII museum is a great place to take the kids for a movie and a bite to eat, or a history buff, veteran or generation nostalgic for a multi-day visit to this monument.
See the 4D movie, narratted by Tom Hanks (good for kids, near the American Sector restaurant, a fun place to pay for a bite to eat); spend the time to read the features and absorb the information and decor; visit the Stage Door Canteen for a show and a meal from a John Besh kitchen; sign up for a lunchbox lecture or a special event; honor veterans and pay tribute to the "Greatest Generation"
If you're into hunting down the trail, go to Houston's for lunch and ask about the Higgens boats.
The World War II Museum was founded by noted writer and historian Stephen Ambrose. The museum presented tools of the war effort, including the famous Higgins landing craft. More than 20,000 boats were designed and built in New Orleans and used in all the amphibious landings of World War II. Dwight Eisenhower credited these boats with winning the war for the Allies. Other artifacts include a Sherman tank, jeeps, and a fully restored C-47.
Permanent exhibit galleries, located on the second and third floor of the Museum, are divided into four areas: The Home Front, Planning for D-Day, The D-Day Beaches and The D-Day Invasions in the Pacific. Photographs, video's, artifacts and first person accounts made the experience seem real. The Malcolm S. Forbes Theater features two alternating films focusing on the D-Day invasions at Normandy and in the Pacific, The Price for Peace and D-Day Remembered.
The Road to Victory: A Vision for Future Generations capital campaign has been launched to expand the current Museum and will include four prominent exhibit pavilions which will portray all campaigns of the war on land, sea, and air, and each branch of the U.S. military services, a theater and USO entertainment venue, a themed restaurant, and a public parade ground. This $300 million expansion project will quadruple the size of the existing facility and will add state-of-the-art programs and exhibit space, library and archives, and collections and conservation space. An endowment campaign will provide long-term funding for educational programs, research and collection of oral histories, and future exhibitions.
the national world war II museum also known as the d-day museum was established to honor the higgins landing craft that were built in new orleans during world war II. these amphibious troop carriers where instrumental to the d-day invasions of europe and the pacific. the d-day museum has been expanded over the years and now has exhibits covering many aspects of this war. for those interested in military history the national world war museum is a very worth while stop when in new orleans.
World War 2 Museum
Used to be called D-Day museum. This is a very involved museum, bigger than I thought. They trace WW2, and mostly the D-Day invasion. They have photos, graphics, many automated displays explaining the invasion. You walk your way thru teh building, and follow the war. After teh European war, they follow the end of the Pacific war, and have a lot of displays about the nuclear bomb. There are also some actual airplanes, jeeps, guns and things in the entrance from the war. They have 2 40 minute or so movies you can see at the begging too. Give yourself at least 2 hours, preferably 3-5 to see everything.
New Orleans is home to the National D-Day museum, a testament to the accomplishments of sevicemembers and civilians alike during the events surrounding the Allied invasion of Europe. It is apropos that the museum finds its home here as the Higgins boat - designed by its namesake Louisiana native - was built in Louisiana. General Eisenhower attributes much of the Allied success to this invention.
This is a must see during your trip to New Orleans. The museum is poignant, informative and assembled impeccably.
As a woman, going to a museum dedicated to D-Day and WWII was not something that I thought would hold any interest for me - was I ever wrong! Granted, the tanks and planes on display were more interesting for the men in my party, but this museum has so much more.
There was a gallery depicting "The War at Home" which showed the sacrifices of the men, women and children back on the home front, including ration cards and household goods of the era. There was another gallery displaying propaganda posters - from the US and Japanese perspective. There are booths which play the video memoirs of many WWII veterans - they are short and should hold a child's interest.
I spent 2 hours here and could have spent more time. Check out their website to see what is the current exhibition, but definitely go.
If you're interested in American history, specifically World War II history, the D-Day Museum should be one of your first stops in New Orleans. This popular museum showcases a vast array of exhibits, documents, artifacts, photographs, and movies. Perhaps the most moving parts of the state-of-the-art exhibit exhibits are the oral histories from veterans worldwide.
The National D-Day Museum Foundation was founded in 1991 by noted historian and author, Dr. Stephen Ambrose from the University of New Orleans. Ambrose wrote the book, "D-Day" and many others as well as consulted on TV documentaries and films. The Museum opened it's doors on June 6, 2000 with the enormously talented director Steven Spielberg and Oscar-winning actor and star of "Saving Private Ryan" attending. This museum address all the amphibious invasions or D-Days of WWII and is a tribute to the more than 1 million Americans who took part.
It's New Orleans location is due not only to Dr. Ambrose's presence here but also because it was in New Orleans where the Higgins Boat, the landing craft used during the D-Day invasion, was manufactured. President Eisenhower credited the Higgins Boat with being responsible for the great success of the Allies.
Additions to the museum have taken place since its opening, but unfortunately during the hurricane disaster of August, 2005, the museum was vandalized and damaged. Let's hope that this fantastic museum is back on its feet again.
The D-Day invasion was a small but pivotal moment in the greatest war the world has ever known. Many museums cover this war in its' entirety but this museum does an excellent job of focusing on one small aspect and STILL leaving the visitor thirsting for more knowledge. New Orleans seems an odd location for a museum on the D-Day museum at first, yet, the city actually played a major role. What role is that?? You will have to visit the museum to figure that out! Happy history hunting! (can you tell I'm a history teacher!?)