The Library begins a series exploring World War II.  The programming will cover various aspects of the conflict ranging from how America came to be involved, the experiences of the soldiers and those on the home front.

Programs | Book Discussions | Recommended Books & Websites | Recommended DVDs

Kick Off Program

All programs will be in the Library Auditorium

This Means War! Domestic Politics and Life During World War II

Wednesday, September 27 at 7 pm

World War II changed the United States in fundamental ways politically, economically, and socially. However, from the first German tanks rolling across Europe to the last U.S. bombings over Japan, Americans debated the nature and extent of US involvement as well as its consequences for the home front. Exploring major issues from the Lend-Lease Act and Japanese internment to price controls and the G.I. Bill, this lecture will highlight some of the ways those debates shaped the world we continue to live in today.  Presented by Matthew June, Phd.


Additional Programs in the Series

World War II Radio Hour

Sunday, October 22 at 2 pm

Nostalgia Entertainment reenacts a 1940's radio hour that is perfect for all ages! While answering musical requests from soldiers and loved ones during wartime, the trio entertain the "studio audience" with Andrews Sisters-style tunes and choreography, Abbott and Costello comedy sketches, and a touching tribute to Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.



The Battle of the Bulge

Wednesday, October 25 at 7 pm

Paul Herbert, Executive Director of the First Division Museum returns to the Library to give an overview of the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944, focusing on the role of the 1st Infantry Division, the storied Big Red One, and their action holding the northern shoulder of the Bulge in Butegnbach, Belgium.



Walt Disney and World War II

Wednesday, November 8 at 7 pm

Although the Disney Studio was the toast of Hollywood animation in the 1930s, its fortunes fell quickly on the eve of WWII. Come hear about Disney's vital--but now forgotten--contribution to the war effort as a prolific producer of hundreds of educational, industrial, and propaganda films during the Second World War--an effort which not only helped save the country but also the studio that would go on to be an American cultural institution.

Presented by Jason Sperb, Phd



The Day That Lived in Infamy-Navigating Basic WWII Records

Saturday, December 2 at 11 am

A fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, in 1973, destroyed approximately 80% of the Army, Air Corps, and National Guard records. This is not the end of the research possibilities for these soldiers. Many alternative record sources exist to reconstruct service history for these branches. Learn how to research World War II records for any branch of the military in this informative program.

Presented by Genealogist Jennifer Holick.


Wilmette and World War II

Thursday, December 7 at 7 pm

Presented by Patrick Leary, Curator at the Wilmette Historical Museum.


Book Discussions

Book Discussions, 7 pm, Auditorium, Led by Matthew June, PhD, Department of History at Northwestern University

Registration required. Sign up on our online calendar.


October 18: Inferno: The World at War, 1939-45 by Max Hastings by Max Hastings by Max Hastings

"Balanced and elegantly written prose. . . . Inferno is a magnificent achievement, a one-volume history that should find favor among readers thoroughly immersed in World War II and those approaching the subject for the first time." -Associated Press



November 15: Company Commander by Charles B. MacDonald

"As a newly commissioned Captain of a veteran Army regiment, MacDonald's first combat was war at its most hellish, the Battle of the Bulge. In this plain-spoken but eloquent narrative, we live each minute at MacDonald's side, sharing in all of combat's misery, terror, and drama... one of the great, true, unforgettable war stories of all time." Amazon


Copies of the books are available at the Recent Arrivals Desk.

Thanks to the Friends of the Library for funding this series.

For more information contact Nancy Wagner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847 256-6930.

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