Open June 6 – September 3
The First Division Museum at Cantigny is excited to present their summer exhibit, Drawing Fire: Bill Mauldin and the WWII GI. Cartoonist Bill Mauldin’s work during the war humorously captured the experiences of front-line soldiers. His famous characters Willie and Joe spoke for the GIs at the front, men who routinely faced danger and lived in the mud and muck. In 1945, at the age of 23, he became the youngest Pulitzer Prize winner in history with his cartoon depicting American GIs and German POWs.
The exhibit tells the GI story using Mauldin’s cartoons and the some of the museum’s extensive but rarely seen World War II collection. The visitor will see more than forty of Mauldin’s cartoons and a variety of artifacts including personal objects carried by soldiers, equipment, decorations, and letters written home during the war. In addition, an interactive allows visitors can hear German weapons and artillery that GIs would have faced.
The exhibit’s formal opening will be held on June 6th, featuring Mauldin biographer Todd DePastino. Todd DePastino has a Ph.D. in American History from Yale University and teaches at Waynesburg University, where in 2008 he won the Lucas-Hathaway Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition to his teaching and writing, he’s also co-founder of the Veterans Breakfast Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that gathers veterans together with their friends, families, and neighbors to share stories from their time in the military.
Over the course of the summer there will be a variety of activities and programs including cartooning workshops on Saturday June 30 and drop-in educational programs throughout the summer. The exhibit runs through Monday September 3rd.