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Upcoming Events

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"12 Days of…

Dec 21 - 23, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

"The Victory Belles…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

“Dirty Dancing — The…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience,… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Dec 21, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Brunch with Santa at…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Join historical New Orleans characters at our annual Brunch with Santa and his… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Get your fix of Emeril's famed contemporary New Orleans cuisine at the flagship… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
NOLA, the casual, funky eatery located in the heart of the French Quarter, is a… more

Celebration in the…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Christmas in the…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 01, 2015
Celebrate the season in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District with dazzling… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 21 - 31, 2014
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Visit the festively decorated residence and courtyard of General and Mrs. L.… more

Joe Krown Trio feat.…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for the  Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter "Wolfman"… more

New Orleans Saints…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
The New Orleans Saints & Atlanta Falcons kick-off at 12 noon. more

NOMA & The NOLA…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
In December, NOMA's iconic Great Hall will be transformed by The NOLA Project… more

Oak Alley…

Dec 21 - 24, 2014
Tour the historic grounds, Slavery at Oak Alley Exhibit, Civil War Exhibit and… more

Prospect.3 - Basquiat…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Curated by Franklin Sirmans, the Artistic Director for P.3: Notes for Now,… more

Prospect.3 - Keith…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
A selection of images from Calhoun and McCormick's extensive body of work on… more

Royal Teddy Bear Tea…

Dec 21 - 22, 2014
Little Princes & Princesses are crowned as they enter into our Magical… more

Self-Processing –…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Before the instantaneous gratification of digital photography there was instant… more

"12 Days of…

Dec 21 - 23, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

Gridiron Glory Exhibition Includes Pro Ball’s War Years and Other Highlights

NEW ORLEANS (October 2, 2012) - Just before the biggest day in football, The National WWII Museum, on January 26, 2013, will open a major new traveling exhibition detailing the professional sport's history in America, with special sections devoted to the game's Second World War history and the host city's team, the New Orleans Saints.

Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame documents professional football's rise from humble beginnings in 1892 to its status as the most popular sport in two centuries of American culture. This rich story is told through the use of more than 200 iconic artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame's collection such as Saints kicker Tom Dempsey's shoe, a jersey worn by Johnny Unitas and "Mean Joe" Greene's helmet, to name a few.

The exhibition, produced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be on display in the Museum's Louisiana Memorial Pavilion through May 5 and entry will be included in the price of regular admission.

"This is the most comprehensive exhibition on pro ball ever assembled," said Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller, president and chief executive officer of The National WWII Museum. "We're proud to be able to host Gridiron Glory and look forward to educating Museum-goers on the game's WWII legacy, chronicling how pro football did so much to boost the nation's morale during the war's darkest days."

Three scheduled NFL games were under way when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. In the Polo Grounds, where New York Giants fans were celebrating "Tuffy Leeman's Day" in honor of their star running back, the public address announcer interrupted his commentary to tell all servicemen to report to their units. A similar announcement was made at Chicago's Comiskey Park. At Washington's Griffith Stadium, the announcer paged high-ranking government and military personnel who were in attendance, but did not mention the attack. Newspaper reporters in attendance were instructed to check with their offices. A program and ticket from this historic Washington Redskins game will be just two of many WWII-related artifacts on display.

Following Pearl Harbor, the wartime draft decimated pro ball. In 1943, for example, the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers could muster only seven players from the previous year. With young players at war, retired players returned to the field, including the Chicago Bears' Bronko Nagurski. The powerful fullback had quit the game in 1937 but returned in 1943 to play tackle. The player shortage forced entire teams to halt play. The Cleveland Rams sat out the 1943 season, while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles merged to play as the "Steagles."

At least 21 NFL men made the ultimate sacrifice during the war. Nineteen players, an ex-head coach and a team executive all lost their lives in service to the country. The best known was New York Giants tackle Al Blozis - killed by Nazi machine guns while searching for members of his platoon on a patrol in France's Vosges Mountains. Just six weeks earlier, Blozis had played in the 1944 NFL Championship Game.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt favored sustaining professional sports activities after America's entry into WWII, arguing that the country still needed this entertainment diversion. Roosevelt initially focused on the importance of baseball - the most popular pro sport at the time - for keeping up American's morale. At its spring leadership meeting in 1943, the NFL followed baseball's lead and decided to continue playing.

"Gridiron Glory will show how the game summoned the American spirit, bringing the nation together to cheer for their favorite team during a challenging struggle," Mueller said. "As the nation's WWII Museum we will focus on those years, but visitors need to know Gridiron Glory is a comprehensive exhibit covering all 121 years of pro ball. It's a fascinating, engrossing slice of American history."

The exhibition is packed with displays about the game's legendary stars, players such as Jim Thorpe, Red Grange and Sammy Baugh, while showcasing the feats of today's hottest players. Museum-goers will be able to learn how superstars such as Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are carrying on a long and distinguished tradition.

"Gridiron Glory is a touchdown for New Orleans," added Steve Perry, president and executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "New Orleans is a football town, and now, with this moving exhibition opening just before the Super Bowl, we're thrilled to bring the treasures of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to the Gulf Coast."

About the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Founded in 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is currently undergoing the largest expansion in its history. The "Future 50" project is set for completion in 2013, to coincide with the Hall of Fame's 50th Anniversary. The completed building will be 118,000 square feet. The Pro Football Hall of Fame's mission is to honor, preserve, educate and promote. To honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football; preserve professional football's historic documents and artifacts; educate the public regarding the origin, development and growth of professional football as an important part of American culture; and promote the positive values of the sport. For more information about the Pro Football Hall of Fame, visit www.profootballhof.com and @ProFootballHOF on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Viddy.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org.