Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called the Allies’ triumph over the Axis powers at D-Day a “mighty endeavor” that required an immense amount of collaboration and organization between many moving parts. In order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this “mighty endeavor” Northern Light Productions partnered with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum located in Hyde Park, New York and worked in tandem with both the National Archives and the National Park Service to create an immersive media display that invites viewers to experience the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the events of D-Day in a new and exciting way.
Combining breathtaking archival footage, primary documents, and a sense of humor Northern Light Productions produced a 9 minute film entitled “Forged in the Fire of War” celebrating the spirit of collaboration and friendship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill throughout World War Two for a temporary display celebrating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Alongside the film, we created three 65 inch interactive “Map Room” displays that cover May 30th through June 16th of 1944 allowing viewers to see both the lead-up and aftermath of D-Day. Viewers watch the day to day movements of troops across an interactive map of Europe, view primary documents, maps (some of which President Roosevelt used himself in his famous map room during the war), and archival footage. Viewers also have the option to view the actions of four major players in D-Day: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, and Adolf Hitler to get an even more diverse understanding of D-Day. Once finishing its run in the D-Day exhibit, this interactive will make its way to the museum’s permanent Map Room exhibit where it will continue to educate and challenge visitors.
“The results of the work that we saw earlier this week are simply exceptional. And your team's willingness to work with us and listen and respond throughout the process has been outstanding. This has been a complex endeavor to be sure. Taking something like D-Day with all of our associated content and breaking it down in a cohesive engaging way was a major undertaking. But your folks and ours figured out a way forward, and the results thoroughly excited us.”
William A. Harris, Deputy Director
Additionally, we worked with the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Educational Center to create two more 65 inch interactive displays to help give visitors the best possible experience at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The displays provide viewers with an event calendar, a map of the entire historical site as well as neighboring historical sites throughout Hyde Park and beyond, historical information about Franklin D. Roosevelt, and access to the site’s hours of operations. Most excitingly the display includes a game where viewers can follow President Roosevelt’s beloved Scottish Terrier Fala around a map of Roosevelt’s favorite places on the site.
We took on our own “mighty endeavor” working with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. This project required almost a year of hard work and the collaboration of eight staff members. The end result blends technology and history in a creative way reflective of this collaboration and ambition.