The Pelican State Goes to War

On View May 6 - June 17, 2022

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.

 

ABOUT THIS EXHIBIT

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’s war efforts triggered massive changes throughout the state and the country, and these wartime experiences laid the groundwork for the new, postwar world that emerged from the 20th century’s greatest struggle.

The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II tells that story. Throughout the exhibit's run, we will be holding public programming focused on Louisiana's role in World War II.

Presented by The Alta and John Franks Foundation.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING
Friday, May 6 from 5-8 p.m.
Hammond Regional Arts Center
217 East Thomas Street, Downtown Hammond


The exhibit will be on display at the Hammond Regional Arts Center from May 6-June 17, 2022. Join us for our opening reception on Friday, May 6 from 5-8 p.m. The exhibit will be open for viewing during regular business hours Wednesday-Friday from noon to 6 p.m. Gallery visits are free to the public.

Anti-aircraft defense training exercises use soup cans and sticks as
equipment because of shortages, Natchitoches, 1940.
Gift in Memory of John O. Spinks, Sr., 2011.018.001

Anti-aircraft defense training exercises use soup cans and sticks as equipment because of shortages, Natchitoches, 1940. Gift in Memory of John O. Spinks, Sr., 2011.018.001

Citizens wait in line at a rationing board, New Orleans, 1943.
Courtesy National Archives

Citizens wait in line at a rationing board, New Orleans, 1943. Courtesy National Archives

Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis performs for a war bond drive in Chicago, 1945. The National WWII Museum, 2017.161.001

Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis performs for a war bond drive in Chicago, 1945. The National WWII Museum, 2017.161.001

During the opening reception on Friday, May 6th there will be a brief talk at 6:30 p.m. about the exhibition presented by Dr. William Robison, professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University.

This exhibition is brought to you in part by:

 

 

 

View the 
2022 Exhibition Schedule


These exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Dates & Exhibitions Subject to Change