NEW ORLEANS -- A very different experience from Jazzland will await
visitors to the National D-Day Museum.
On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops took part in the D-Day
invasion of Europe, the first strike of Operation Overlord. The
70,000-square-foot, $25 million museum is to open on the 56th
anniversary of that day in a renovated brewery in the city's
The museum's founder is author, teacher and historian Stephen
Ambrose. Along with celebrating the men and women who served in
World War II, the museum honors Andrew Higgins, creator of the
Higgins boat, the landing craft used in the D-Day invasion. More
than 30,000 were built in New Orleans.
The museum includes a Higgins craft, built to the original
specifications, which will be the centerpiece in the Louisiana
Memorial Pavilion, the museum's entrance.
The pavilion includes two WWII airplanes overhead: an American
Grumman Avenger and a British Spitfire.
Initially, exhibits will include jeeps, a tank, a half-track,
German officer staff cars and sentry boxes. The pavilion will house
traveling exhibits and provide space for meetings and
It also will include a museum shop, a cafe and a 110-seat
theater featuring a documentary, "D-Day Remembered." The second
floor exhibits will have such general themes as the Late 1930s: the
Balance of Power; the Road to War; Mobilization; the Home Front,
and the Course of War.
On the third floor, themes revolve around Operation Overlord,
from strategy through the actual invasion and the road to
Some 3,500 artifacts of D-Day and subsequent campaigns, the core
of the museum's collection, were acquired from the Musee de la
Liberation in St. Lo, France. Many other artifacts were donated by
veterans and their families.
All exhibits will be open on June 6, except for a second phase
included in the $25 million project -- a 5,000-square-foot
exhibition on the war in the Pacific.
The Pacific exhibit, to open in August 2001, will be housed on
the second floor, adjacent to the 8,000 square feet of existing
The museum's funding includes $6 million from the federal
government and $6.5 million from the state of Louisiana and some 40
national and international corporations.
The museum, located at 923 Magazine St., near the French Quarter
and the central business district, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m., except on certain holidays.
Admission is $6; (ages 18 and younger, $4); group rates will be
available. Gail Newchurch is handling group inquiries, pending
hiring of a sales coordinator.
National D-Day Museum
Phone: (877) 813-3329 or (504) 529-6012 ext. 4
Fax: (504) 527-6088