What do Hitler wanted signs, advertisements for bras, and Tito Puente have in common?

All three connected New York City to WWII. Then the largest manufacturing city in the world, and the chief port connecting the USA to Europe, NYC played a crucial roll in the global fight against the Nazis. Now open at the New York Historical Society, WWII & NYC examines how the metropolis mobilized for the great war. There are 300 objects, ranging from paintings by luminaries like Jacob Lawrence to a 1943 advertisement for Maidenform bras ("a vital necessity to women at work.").

Kenneth T. Jackson, former President of the New-York Historical Society and chief historian for the project, reminds "most people don't remember that the Manhattan Project, which realized the atomic bomb, started at Columbia University in 1939." Or, "that New York was the best liberty town." Jackson's remarks point to the breadth of New York's war story. It's a story that encompasses the Double-V campaign, women's workers rights, dancehalls, science, and one of the world's most vibrant ports. A story in which Dr. Seuss and "Wanted" posters seeking Hitler for murder mingle.

Over four distinct sections, these ideas unfold with a pace and dynamism indicative of the era itself. You wander through the reasons for war, life on the homefront, life at liberty, and are, most important, introduced to NYC figures who played an integral role in the war effort. These include guys like Tito Puente and Jacob Lawrence, both of whom had tremendous careers in the arts. 

WWII & NYC runs through May 27, 2013. One not to miss.