Museums Explore World War II History

Posted October 26, 2020 at 10:28 am     Category: NewsMuseum

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. – This fall and winter, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science and the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA invite visitors to explore World War II history by visiting both sites. On September 2, 2020, the City of Wilmington was officially named the first World War II Heritage City in the country. Retired Navy Captain Wilbur Jones worked with state and local leaders to identify the wartime impact of the city and the national designation recognizes the countless contributions of the women and men who stepped into the workforce to support America’s successful campaign during World War II and the effort taken to preserve the rich history.

At Cape Fear Museum explore an exhibition from the National World War II Museum, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II. The exhibit features artifacts, photographs and oral histories to highlight some of the extraordinary achievements and challenges of African Americans during World War II, both overseas and on the Home Front. Fighting for the Right to Fight illustrates how hopes for securing equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated non-combat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for “Double Victory” that laid the groundwork for the modern Civil Rights Movement. This exhibit will be on view through January 8, 2021.

At the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, moored across the river from downtown Wilmington, envision the daily life and fierce combat the ship’s crew faced while exploring the authentically restored World War II battleship. During the war, 2,000 men called the USS NORTH CAROLINA home, including African American steward’s mates and messmen. The National Historic Landmark now serves as a museum collecting and interpreting all ships named NORTH CAROLINA and as a memorial honoring the 11,000 North Carolinians of all branches of service who gave their lives in World War II. It is a wonderful interactive attraction offering a powerful education for visitors of all ages. With nine levels of the ship to tour, including the mess decks, engine room, bridge and much more, visitors can walk in the crew’s footsteps and imagine steering the ship, starting her engines or even firing the guns.

“We are fortunate to have two museums in downtown Wilmington that highlight the rich history of the area,” stated Cape Fear Museum director Sheryl Mays. “We encourage everyone to visit and take time to explore and understand the region’s contributions to the war effort.”

In addition, Cape Fear Museum is honored to host a virtual scholar talk on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 12 p.m. with Dr. Krewasky A. Salter, who will share history, insights and thoughts on the African American military experience. Dr. Salter is a U. S. Army Colonel (ret) currently serving as Executive Director, First Division Museum, where he is expanding military history interpretations through the lens of the U. S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. Krewasky has over seven years of academic teaching experience and was the Military Subject Matter Expert at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture. Join the conversation via Zoom:

News Release Contact: Barbi Baker,, 910-798-4367

 About Cape Fear Museum
Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is located at 814 Market Street and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Standard admission prices are $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, students and military with valid ID; $5 for children 6-17; and free for children 5 and under and for museum members. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. More information at 910-798-4370 or

 About Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River, the Battleship is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Christmas Day, when ticket sales start at noon). Visit or follow us on //, // and // for more information. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is a historic site within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (

About The National WWII Museum
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 – so that future generations will know the price of freedom, and be inspired by what they learn. 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 sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit

814 Market Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-4370 • Fax 910-798-4382
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