Union Museum of History and Art’s new exhibit, “A Call to Arms: North Louisiana Preps for WWII,” will open to the public on Friday, July 20, and run through Sept. 7. The museum is located in the Union Chamber of Commerce building, 116 N. Main St., Farmerville. The new display will explore 1939-41 when North Louisiana was abuzz with activity in preparations for impending war. Area residents were amazed at the thousands of troops that camped and trained in Union Parish and surrounding parishes before moving southward to the mock battles of the famed Louisiana Maneuvers. Barksdale Field and Selman Field were expanded into mighty stages for Army Air Corps units, and the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant was built and readied to produce ordnance that would be needed for combat. By the time Japanese bombs hit Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, America was ready to wage war, thanks in large part to North Louisiana.
Hours of the free exhibit are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed at noon for lunch), and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, visit www.UnionMuseumofHistoryandArt.org or call 318-348-2005.
Two speakers are scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit. Jeanette Herren of the Selman Field Historical Association will speak about the Army Air Corps Navigation School on Thursday, August 2, at 4:30 p.m. On Thursday, August 23, at 4:30 p.m., Richard Moran, curator of the Louisiana Maneuvers Museum at Camp Beauregard, Pineville, will discuss the maneuvers which encompassed a large portion of the state.