Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wartime radio operator recognised ... from the BBC

"A radio operator from Greater Manchester, who helped unlock German coded messages during World War II, has been recognised for his efforts.
Albert Garforth, 83, of Foxdenton Lane, Middleton Junction, spent the last year of the war helping the code-breakers at Bletchley Park unlock the Enigma code.
Their work meant the Allies gained vital information about German troop movements, securing victory in 1945.
Mr Garforth has received a Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge."

To read the rest of the BBC article visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/8296953.stm

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Veterans History Project

Moving the past from its isolation in hidden war trunks and unspoken stories to the forefront of our attention is exactly what Lisa Spahr did in her book World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion and precisely what the Veteran’s History Project is trying to do. In order to preserve the history beyond textbook-bare outlines, veterans from conflicts ranging from World War I to the Persian Gulf Wars are telling their personal achievements and stories. This project is the nation’s largest oral history undertaking. However, it is able to reach an even larger audience through court reporters who transcribe the interviews at lightning speed. Court reporters are expensive but some have become so taken with the documentation of history and the personal stories of the veterans that they have either volunteered or sought out family members to interview. Like Sphar, these men and women are creating a cultural repository for our generations and those to come. Many veterans do not even speak to their families about their times in war, but this work will memorialize the personal traumas and highlights that are the foundations of human existence. To listen to a veteran’s personal story of a battle can much more deeply ingrain history into people, more so than sometimes dry textbooks at least.

With this ambitious endeavor, our nation’s history through the multiplicity of voices is being told because we should not be a place with merely one story but one of many. While these voices are being heard, we can only hope that those that aren’t may soon be. For more information on the project and to listen to interviews, please visit: http://www.loc.gov/vets.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Join me Saturday December 5th at Heinz History Center

We had a great time last year. And, we're delighted they've invited us back. We'll be at the Heinz History Author Fair this Saturday, December 5th, from 10 AM until 2 PM. The event is free and open to the public. More than 40 authors will be on hand. It makes a great time to purchase a few books for gifts and any reader will enjoy the vast array of subjects.

Hope to see you there.