On Saturday and Sunday, the Cincinnati Museum Center’s History Museum will host its annual 1940’s Weekend, where a menagerie of dance, history and antique cars await. Elizabeth Pierce, the vice president of marketing and communications shared, some information on what to look forward to at the event.
“Cincinnati History Museum staff were inspired to present 1940’s Weekend and help visitors understand history of Union Terminal and Cincinnati in that era,” Pierce said. “There are fascinating stories of Cincinnati area businesses and leaders that made a difference in the war effort and the impact the war had on our community.”
During the ‘40s, Union Terminal was teeming with life — commuters going to and from military bases, families awaiting their loved ones return and people headed off to work. These moments and more will be captured at the 1940s Weekend with photo galleries set up to give guests a taste of what the location was like in that time.
“The photos we have of Union Terminal at that time are bursting at the seams with people. Literally, tens of thousands of people, passed through Union Terminal on a daily basis,” Pierce said. “The Rookwood Parlor (currently our ice cream shop) was converted into the USO lounge. It is thought to be one of the first racially integrated USO lounges in the country. The Cincinnati USO was also unique in that it was led by broad group of women from Christian, Catholic and Jewish faiths.”
The Terminal itself had, at one point, a “make-shift nursery” to help soldiers traveling through the area on their way to or from training. To accommodate the people coming through as well, the Terminal had areas where soldiers could see their families during layovers.
There are free events that will be in the Rotunda and surrounding areas of the museum, like the exhibit Cincinnati Goes to War. This exhibit will show how Cincinnati did its part during World War II through interactive media displays, set pieces and photographs. There will be plenty of other activities ranging from live bands like The Jump n’ Jive Show Band and the P&G Big Band, to old radio broadcasts and food tasting from the legendary era. The museum will be hosting two survivors of the Holocaust to talk about their experiences. Holocaust survivors Werner Coppel and Henry Fenichel will be speaking Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m., respectively.
Cars from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s will await guests at the museum’s entrance. This impressive display of history began with a search inquiry placed in winter of last year.
“Starting in February, CHM began to reach out to local vintage car owners through the Show and Shine Calendar — an event calendar that publishes all the great car events in six different states,” Pierce said. “The area has so many great automobile groups and car events that we were able to further spread the word about the weekend by attending shows such as the Rollin’ On The River Car Show and the Milford Cruise-In.”
The 1940s Weekend runs will during regular museum hours, 10 a.m -5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets (required for the Cincinnati History Museum) are $12.50 for adults and $8.50 for children.
“There are fun ways to take people back in time through music, fashion and design.” Pierce said. “Union Terminal was a vital part of transporting troops across the nation and is a place where family members went off to war, some reunited, some never to return.”
For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org