NOLA Life Stories: How Was The National WWII Museum Created?

Jun 18, 2015

Inspired by the stories of World War II veterans, the late University of New Orleans historian Stephen Ambrose wanted to build a museum that would honor their experience.

To help make this dream a reality, Ambrose turned to his friend and colleague at UNO, Gordon “Nick” Mueller: the two men hashed out their plans over glasses of sherry.

Originally envisioned as a small museum on UNO’s campus, devoted exclusively to D-Day, it has evolved into the Nation’s World War II Museum and one of the city’s top attractions.

Earlier in June, on the anniversary of D-Day, the National WWII Museum celebrated its 15th anniversary. Commemorative speeches were presented by Mueller, Senator David Vitter, and historian Keith Huxen. Click below to hear an excerpt from Mueller's speech.

This interview was conducted by Mark Cave for the Historic New Orleans Collection.