The Remembrance of World War II, an exhibit created by 60 Brookings-Harbor High School U.S. and state and local history students, has made the big time.
The multi-media display will be at the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) in Portland from July 26 to Aug. 3.
OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk saw an article in the Curry Coastal Pilot and contacted the students to learn more. After seeing the exhibit through a FaceTime call, Tymchuk told the students that OHS would be delighted to host their exhibit at its museum in Portland.
“I was tremendously impressed with the research, scholarship and creativity of the students, and wanted to give others the opportunity to see this exhibit on one of the most eventful and impactful times in history,” Tymchuk said.
The project took 60 students four months to compile, with the teens each attacking a different story.
The display consists of photos of the war — most of which were purposely sought for not already being in history books, and many are on loan from the community — medals, letters to those on the front lines, enlarged photos of veterans who live in Brookings and news items of the times.
Local veterans who contributed to the project include Lestor Manosar, Louella “Ellie” White, Paul Delong, Jay Mosby, Ruth Cavaliere, John “Spike” Hendrix, Chuck and Jan Heaney, Ted Clawson and Terry Axley.
There is a section depicting Oregon’s part in the war, from recruiting centers to the Japanese pilot who tried to burn Brookings to the ground by igniting the forest with a bomb. The attempt failed due to the heavy fog on the land, but a trail leads to the bomb site and mementos are on display in the Chetco Community Public Library in Brookings.
Another part of the display depicts home life: articles outlining how to stretch meat in “Ration Recipes” books, ration coupons, war bonds and food tokens that both limited how much people could buy each month and curtailed inflation of those items, notably butter, meat, sugar and bread.
Social life went on stateside, which is depicted in the superhero comic books, and now-classic movies such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Casablanca” or books including “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “The Fountainhead” and “Animal Farm: A Fairy Story.”
A copy of the “Instrument of Surrender” from the Japanese is on display, as is an original copy of the Sunday Journal, Portland’s newspaper, proclaiming “Portland Meat Quota Eased” and featuring a Victory Garden chart.
A timeline shows the progression of the war; another shows what was happening in the states at the same time: the debut of Cheerios and the role of SPAM meats in feeding hungry troops.
The project was curated by Holly Fallert with photo editing by Brig Schofield, and timelines by Kaylee Strain, Mayce McCollum and Maggie Steerman.
The military machine exhibit was compiled by Vitor Athayde, Vanessa Zamora, Andrew Enos and Michael Smith; nursing and allies by Lexi Pacino and Brooke Hodges; pop culture by Anyika Nelson, Jon Kleespies and Zoe Bernhardt; and food and rations by Elena Morosky. Wartime production was crafted by Zack Carlson and Jazz Manning, communications by Roman Worthey and Ethan Sayne, home front perspectives by Mickey Fulton, Allyson Cantrall, Jenna Featherstone and Abigail Marks; “Three Days, Two Bombs, One Surrender” by Nathaniel Barnard and Brig Schofield, Pearl Harbor by Austin Fronckowiak, Sandra Sullivan, Everett Van Maren, Elena Morosky, Mitchell Burshem and Kyla Nelson, and the Oregon involvement by the State and Local History Class.
Several of them and their family members will travel to Portland to see the exhibit Saturday, July 28, and will be available for interviews at 1 p.m. in the main pavilion of the Oregon Historical Society at 1200 SW Park Ave. in Portland.
Admission to the exhibit is free, and is $5 for the rest of the museum. Admission is free every day for OHS members and Multnomah County residents. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films and oral histories.