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MacArthur Memorial to add new 'mass media' exhibit

MacArthur is one of WWII's most recognizable figures, by design. He had a close relationship with the press, and this new exhibit explores that.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: the video above is on file from Oct. 3, 2021.

The General Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk is about to unveil a new exhibit.

"The Command Presence: MacArthur, Media & Mass Appeal" exhibit is set to open on Oct. 15. It'll be free and open to the public at the center on Bank Street.

"With his aviator’s leather jacket, field marshal’s cap, Ray-Ban sunglasses and corn cob pipe, General Douglas MacArthur was one of the most recognized figures of World War II. This was by design," wrote Amanda Williams, the memorial's education manager.

"The son of a war hero who was alternately idolized and villainized by the press, MacArthur understood from an early age the power of mass media and was quick to master new forms of media," she said. "Command Presence will trace how this talent was used successfully and unsuccessfully in domestic crises and over the course of three major international conflicts."

Here are some things you can see at the exhibit:

  • Comic books that portray MacArthur in the contexts of WWI and WWII
  • Modern comic books featuring MacArthur
  • Exhibits about the role of television in people's perception of war
  • Newspapers from 100 years ago
  • Photographs and paintings of him that have circulated through mass media

The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m.