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Upcoming Events

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12th Annual Saints…

Mar 27 - 29, 2015
The festival features panel discussions and master classes on literary topics… more

America's Hometown…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
In the adventuresome spirit of the weekend's FoodFest, it will bring the best… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Mar 27 - 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Artist Spotlight…

Mar 27 - 31, 2015
New Orleans-based woodturning artist Tom Dunne will be the featured artist in… more

Edgar Degas: The…

Mar 27 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

EN MAS’: Carnival and…

Mar 27 - Jun 7, 2015
Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance… more

Hogs for the Cause

Mar 27 - 28, 2015
Eighty teams of BBQ competitors, comprised of a mix of some of the region's… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Mar 27 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Kikuo Saito at…

Mar 27 - Apr 4, 2015
Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works from New York… more

Lauren Sturm - Bayou…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
Performs solo acoustic piano. more

Lauren Sturm - Bayou…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
Performs solo acoustic piano. more

Le Petit Theatre…

Mar 27 - 29, 2015
Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of a couple… more

Louisiana Crawfish…

Mar 27 - 29, 2015
Enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine such as Crawfish pie, Fried Crawfish Tall… more

M.S. Rau Antiques…

Mar 27 - May 4, 2015
Long established and leading art, antiques and jewelry specialist M.S. Rau… more

Mahalia Jackson…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
The sounds of the 60's will come alive starring The Midtwon Men singing their… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
Join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for The Fuzz: A Tribute to The Police. more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Mar 27 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Music at the Mint…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
Smokin' Time Jazz Club is a New Orleans based traditional jazz band. They… more

NORDC Movies in the…

Mar 27 - 27, 2015
Join us for NORDC Movies in the Park screening of  "Big Hero… more

Purchased Lives: New…

Mar 27 - Jul 18, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's newest exhibition, "Purchased… more

12th Annual Saints…

Mar 27 - 29, 2015
The festival features panel discussions and master classes on literary topics… 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.