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Chasing Shadows: Museum highlights Pearl Harbor, wartime Christmas

Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum in Carrabelle is presenting two special exhibits in December.

One exhibit at the museum will commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and the other is remembering Christmas during the war years.

These exhibits opened this week and will be on display until Thursday, Dec. 31, at 5 p.m. The museum is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is no charge for admission.

World War II came home for the United States on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Empire of Japan attacked the on the US Western Fleet at the American base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

“This attack resulted in the declaration of war with Japan and the US entering World War II,” said Lisa Keith-Lucas, volunteer museum curator. “Luckily, the Pacific Fleet's aircraft carriers were at sea on that day, and escaped damage to fight later.

“’Remember Pearl Harbor’ became the rallying cry of Americans as they enlisted by the thousands and built up the immense industrial effort needed to achieve victory in 1945,” she said.

Americans learned to do with less during the years they were fully engaged in fighting World War II, as the war impacted every aspect of American life, even how we celebrated Christmas. The museum features a variety of displays explaining how rationing changed toys, food and decorations during the war.

“Did you know that the popular Lionel Trains were made of cardboard during the war?” Keith-Lucas said. “Americans were encouraged to make their own toys and decorations, and commercially made gifts emphasized materials that were not needed for war, including cloth, paper and wood.

“Rationing also changed how Americans cooked and baked. Our December exhibit covers the three most recognizable “Os,” of American wartime cooking – Karo, Oleo, and Jell-O!

The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is directly across from Carrabelle Public Beach Park at 1873 Hwy 98 West. For more information, contact the museum at 697-8575 or museum@campgordonjohnston.com. Funded in part by the Tourist Development Council.

This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Chasing Shadows: Museum highlights Pearl Harbor, wartime Christmas

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