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    Starting October 10, the Frazier International History Museum will be host to a new temporary exhibit, WWII: 48 Local Stories That Changed the World. The exhibit captures the stories of local men and women from a variety of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds whose experiences exemplify the regional and national World War II experience.

    Their poignant stories of sacrifice, adventure and survival provide insight into America’s “greatest generation” and provoke the question-- why did this particular generation rise to the challenge and do so with such patriotism and passion?

    WWII: 48 Local Stories explores the answers to this question through 48 oral histories, interactive audio and video clips (including newsreel footage and radio commercials), hands-on elements, over 100 photographs, music and dozens of artifacts, including equipment, uniforms, maps and personal memorabilia.

    Perhaps the answer to this question can be summarized best, however, in one simple statement Frazier Museum staff heard frequently while conducting oral history interviews, “We did what we had to do.” The wars since have not affected as many people or countries, nor have they been so universally accepted as a worthwhile task by the American people as was the global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

    Citizens responded by volunteering as air raid wardens, auxiliary police and firefighters or at their local USO and American Red Cross. People grew “victory gardens” and conducted war bond, scrap metal and blood drives. Besides individuals’ stories, the exhibit also will detail how Kentuckiana businesses responded to the war effort. For example, Ford Motor Company, JeffBoat, DuPont and others retooled their plants in order to produce vital war supplies. Others, including Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company and Standard Oil Company, hired women to replace the traditionally male workers who had gone off to war.

    Throughout the run of the exhibit, October 10 through March 28, the museum will be offering a number of WWII-related programs and events designed to educate and entertain, while providing insight into what life was like during this fascinating and frightening time. Events include: two LIVING HISTORY performances-- one about a war-time president and the other about American music and dance during WWII; a special Veterans Day program for school groups; two BITE OF HISTORY lunchtime lectures about the role women and romantic relationships played; a talk about the history of the Tuskegee Airmen; and the “Frazier Canteen- a USO Dance” on Valentines weekend. For a complete list of WWII: 48 Local Stories events and more on this intriguing exhibit, visit

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    Didn't I tell you? I run this place! Not much goes on here without me knowing...I'm always watching.

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