Who are the Victory Kids? They’re typical American kids living in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1942 at the height of World War II. Their parents work in the shipyard, serve in the military or help the war effort in some other way—and the Victory Kids want to do their part, too.

Each month, through specially designed self-guided tours, visitors will be introduced to one of the Victory Kids: Bobby, Maggie, Norma Lee, Jerome, James or Shirley. Armed with a World War II-style Army backpack—loaded with stories, pictures and hands-on activities—young visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits and learn what life in the past was like for kids just like themselves.


Meet Shirley

This is Shirley. She's twelve year old, and was born in Portsmouth, just like everyone in her family. She lives in New Town with her mother, grandparents and Grandma Nancy - her great grandmother.

Shirley's father was drafted into the army and now he's fighting somewhere in Europe. Shirley is always happy when the family gets a letter from him. Shirley is proud that he's fighting for freedom, but she misses him terribly. The family hasn't gotten a letter from her father in two months. The people who live next door put a gold star in their window because their father was killed in battle.

To keep from worrying about her father, Shirley likes to spend time with Grandma Nancy, listening to her tell stories of when she was young. Grandma Nancy is 87 years old, and is one of the oldest members in their church: Emanuel AME Church. She was born a slave in 1855, and Shirley loves to hear bout all the changes Grandma Nancy seen during her lifetime.

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