WESTON, Conn. -- The Weston Historical Society this weekend will mark the 75th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War II with a glimpse of what life was like then for American soldiers in France.
Re-enactors will portray members of an army platoon in 1944 in an encampment from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, on the grounds of the society’s headquarters, The Coley Homestead, at 104 Weston Road in Weston.
This slice of living history will be the opening salvo in the society’s exhibit honoring the town’s contributions to the global conflict.
World War II started on Sept. 1, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing 2,043 people – including dozens of civilians – and injuring more than 1,000 more.
The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famed "Day of Infamy" speech, and Congress declared war on Japan.
Japan, Germany and Italy were part of what was known as the Axis alliance.
Four days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Adolf Hitler declared war on the U.S. Just hours later, the U.S. Congress, at Roosevelt’s urging, reciprocated.
On display at the exhibit will be World War II military equipment, vehicles and other items from the collection of Ken Boughton.
It will be open from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Sundays, from Nov. 13 through March 25.
At the Saturday event, re-enactors will interact with visitors and discuss life on the battlefront.
Reg Bowden, who chairs the “Memories of World War II” event committee, said the encampment will bring “the past to life, showing life as it was in the U.S. Army, in the field, as some Weston veterans experienced it, throughout the campaigns of Europe.”
Admission to the exhibit and encampment activities is $3 per (historical society) member, $8 per member family (two adults and all children under 18), $5 per non-member and $10 per non-member family.
There were 155 Westonites, both men and women, who served during the war.
Dozens of residents have contributed a wide range of artifacts, photographs, armaments, vehicles and personal memories to the exhibit.
It is being sponsored by GaraveL Auto Group, Fairfield County Bank, Cohen & Wolf, Friends of the Weston Library and the Weston Education Foundation.
For more information, or to arrange a special family or guided group tour, call the society’s executive director, Susan Gunn Bromley, at (203)-226-1804, or visit its website, www.westonhistoricalsociety.org.