Fairfield Museum and History Center commemorates VE Day

The public is invited to the Fairfield Museum and History Center on Sunday, May 3, at 3 p.m. to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VE Day with a talk on the importance of oral history, memory and legacy by Eileen Hurst of the Veterans History Project at Central Connecticut State University and dramatic readings of letters from Fairfield veterans and their families, by advanced theatre students from Greens Farms Academy.

V-DayposterLetters from the archives of the Fairfield Museum include one written by Ellen Hobart during the Revolutionary War; a letter Billy Burr sent to his parents from Camp Wetherill, RI during World War I; and letters that Ruth Mills Bradley sent to local newspapers describing her service in the Women’s Army Corps in the Philippines and New Guinea during World War II.

The national Veterans History Project is primarily an oral history program that collects and preserves the firsthand interviews of America’s wartime veterans. Created in 2000, following a unanimous vote by the U.S. Congress, it serves to preserve and archive the oral histories of men and women who have served in any of our country’s wars or any civilian who supported the war effort in a significant way. The project, housed at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., collects and preserves the video interviews, photographs and documents of veterans. The CCSU Veterans History Project partners with the Library of Congress by focusing on the oral histories of veterans from Connecticut.

Norman Rockwell, (1894-1978) Freedom of Speech, 1943. War bond poster. Collection of the Fairfield Museum and History Center

Norman Rockwell, (1894-1978) Freedom of Speech, 1943. War bond poster.
Collection of the Fairfield Museum and History Center

The VE Day program complements the Fairfield Museum current exhibition Mobilizing the Home Front: Posters from World War II, on view through Sunday, May 10.

These posters were used to raise support for the war effort at home. Part of a large propaganda effort on the part of the U.S. government, they utilized strong messages and iconography, linking efforts on the home front to the military campaigns in Europe and Asia. In essence, every American, soldier or civilian, was enlisted to help win the war.

The VE Day program was created in partnership with Westport Arts Center, and is free to members; $5 suggested donation for non-members. For more information, visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.

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