Swing back in time at Cincinnati Museum Center's 1940s Day August 31

Classic cars, big band music, costume contest and more bring the 1940s back to historic Union Terminal

CINCINNATI – Classic cars, big band music, hoop skirts and swing dancing bring the 1940s roaring to life at Cincinnati Museum Center. The museum’s annual 1940s Day returns to historic Union Terminal Saturday, August 31.

The 1940s are alive inside and outside Union Terminal as 1940s Day immerses you in a celebration of the music, fashion, vehicles and people who shaped the pivotal era. Live reenactments of radio programs, a costume contest and history-inspired cooking demonstrations will have you dancing the jitterbug and cooking with gas. Partners from the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center will also be participating, sharing firsthand stories of hope, resilience and survival from one of humanity’s darkest moments.

For a building that played such an active role in the decade, 1940s Day is like a homecoming for the Art Deco icon. Union Terminal buzzed with activity as World War II necessitated even greater traffic through the train station. During the war, over three million American troops passed through the station – nearly one-fifth of the nation’s soldiers who served. To offer troops traveling from across the country a bit of rest and the comforts of home, the nation’s first USO Troops-in-Transit lounge opened in Union Terminal in the space that is now the Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor. The lounge offered service to all troops, regardless of race, at a time when the military and much of the country was still segregated. And, troops not only shipped off from Union Terminal, many also returned there to joyful reunions. Among the people disembarking at the station were Holocaust survivors, stepping into Union Terminal’s grand Rotunda to begin their new lives in Cincinnati.

As CMC continues planning for the event, they are looking for 1940s musicians, vintage car owners, vendors and demonstrators to participate. Anyone interested can visit to fill out a registration form.

1940s Day activities are included with Museum Admission and free for CMC Members. Visit for updated event information.

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About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History MuseumMuseum of Natural History & ScienceThe Children’s MuseumRobert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® TheaterCincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit