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Upcoming Events

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"Mysterious…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 23, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Nov 23, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Boesman and Lena

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
American Theatre Project of New Orleans returns to Ashé Cultural Arts… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Kids get the royal holiday treatment at their own Celebration in the Oaks… more

Kirk Franklin…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Raise the roof Sunday mornings with brunch featuring the explosive energy of… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
This swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan will have you and your family hooked… more

Mistletoe Marketplace…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Kickoff Mistletoe Marketplace in the French Quarter at 4 p.m. on Thursday,… more

New Orleans Poboy…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Come join us for the New Orleans Poboy Festival. The New Orleans Po-Boy… more

Smoothie King Center…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world… more

THE GUANTÁNAMO PUBLIC…

Nov 23 - 26, 2014
This traveling exhibit examines the history of the U.S. naval base in… more

The Mysterious…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

The New Orleans…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
The New Orleans Fringe has become known for its offbeat and sometimes crazy… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 23, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
Get your fix of Emeril's famed contemporary New Orleans cuisine at the flagship… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
Make a pit-stop on the way to the Superdome at the iconic Emeril's Delmonico in… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
NOLA, the casual, funky eatery located in the heart of the French Quarter, is a… more

New Orleans Saints…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
The New Orleans Saints & Baltimore Ravens kick-off at 7:30 pm more

ThinkerKids Holiday…

Nov 24 - 26, 2014
Come explore science, technology, art and math with us at ThinkerKids Holiday… more

Canal Street Lighting…

Nov 25 - 25, 2014
Stroll along Canal Street and watch as the Downtown Development District and… more

"Mysterious…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… 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.