World War II Museums and Educational Resources

In honor of the anniversary of D-Day, we created this list of World War II Museums in the United States. Plus, free online educational resources and some of the best books on "The Good War"!

Museums:

  1. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans houses over 100,000 artifacts from both the European and Pacific theaters of war.
  2. The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas is an "amazing" place to learn about World War II, in particular the war against Japan.
  3. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC is a "...terrifically moving... must-see..." museum commemorating the Holocaust.
  4. Pearl Harbor in Hawaii is home to the USS Arizona Memorial, as well as several other museums related to the December 7 attacks and the subsequent war.

Free Online Educational Resources:

  1. The Pritzker Military Library website hosts podcasts of presentations and events held at the Library, including talks by leading World War II scholars, educators, and veterans.  The Library also offers lesson plans that highlight the technologies, geographies, and battles of World War II (and other wars).
  2. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum offers a wide variety of online resources, including videos, articles, maps, study guides, and more.
  3. The National Archives provide a range of document-based lesson plans and activities.
  4. The National WWII Museum features "Classroom Victory Garden Project" lesson plans for teachers.

Books for Children:

  1. The World Wars by Paul Dowswell, Ruth Brocklehurst, and Henry Brook, is an outstanding resource that tells the story of both World War I and World War II, and the connections that link the two calamities.
  2. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a classic that needs no introduction.
  3. Number the Stars, a novel by by Lois Lowry, won a Newberry Award for its portrayal of a family seeking to help Jewish friends in Nazi-occupied Denmark.
  4. You Wouldn't Want to Be a Secret Agent During World War II!: A Perilous Mission Behind Enemy Lines by John Malam is part of a fun history series that draws kids in with interesting illustrations and clever writing.

Books for Adults:

  1. Inferno by Max Hastings is a comprehensive account of World War II from 1939 to 1945.
  2. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 by Antony Beevor chronicles what may have been the most important - and horrific - battle of the entire war.
  3. The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan is a classic account of the Allied invasion.
  4. The Good War: An Oral History of World War II, compiled by Studs Terkel, records memories of the war from people from all ranks, races, and social classes.
  5. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder exposes the horror of Hitler's and Stalin's regimes in Poland, Belarus, and the Ukraine.

Normandy Landings on Omaha Beach, D-Day