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“From Campus to Cockpit”

Date: October 26, 2011-January 22, 2012
Location and Time: Rare Book Room cases during library hours
Contact Information: Valerie Gillispie, 919-684-8929 or valerie.gillispie(at)

  • Did you know that Duke hosted the only Rose Bowl played outside of Pasadena, CA?
  • Did you know that Duke chemistry students and professors created special bullets for training soldiers?
  • Did you know that Duke women played a pivotal role in wartime service and morale-raising?
  • Did you know that the Tarheels once liked the Blue Devils so much they were willing to loan them their football bleachers?

You can learn more about all these things (and even more!) by visiting “From Campus to Cockpit: Duke during World War II,” currently on display in the hallway cases outside the Rare Book Room.

The exhibit documents the academic, military, and humanitarian accomplishments of the Duke University community during World War II. Photographs, papers, artifacts, and archival film footage tell the story of the university’s spirited efforts to support the nation during a turbulent time of war—including hosting the 1942 Rose Bowl, expanding the possibilities for women in the academic realm, and cooperating with the city of Durham to host fundraising events.

Highlights of the exhibition include images of the first women engineering students at Duke, an original 1942 Rose Bowl ticket, a Red Cross bandage, memorabilia from “Rose Bowl Week” in Durham, and a variety of 1940’s-era military patches and insignia.

If you can’t stop by the display, you can also see many of the artifacts—along with Rose Bowl game footage, bonus materials and research resources—in our online exhibition.

Editorial cartoon from the Los Angeles Herald & Express, December 30, 1941.
Editorial cartoon from the Los Angeles Herald & Express, December 30, 1941.

Post contributed by exhibit curators Rosemary K. J. Davis, Isobel Craven Drill Intern, and Jessica Wood, William E. King Reference Intern.