Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010 Not Over Yet

The kids are back in school and the symposium has come and gone but that doesn’t mean that programs at the museum are slowing down. We still have two weekends of living history shows, a WWII author’s forum and a couple patriotic holiday celebrations – all before we wrap up 2010.

As many of you know, this weekend is the 30th anniversary of Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg. After the chicken dance Saturday morning, come to the Living History Program at the museum, there is plenty of time to enjoy both.

Monday, October 11 is a bank holiday, which means a three day weekend, and we’ll be hosting three great WWII authors at a free author’s forum and booksigning in the Nimitz Ballroom. See the previous blog entry for details on the visiting authors.

The weekend of November 13 and 14 will be the last Living History programs of 2010. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see one of these shows yet, make a point to be here.

Our annual Veteran’s Day program, featuring Senator John Cornyn as Keynote Speaker, will be in the Memorial Courtyard at 11:00 the morning of November 11. At 12:25 on December 7, our annual Pearl Harbor Day recognition program will be held in the Memorial Courtyard. Both of these programs are free to the public and are great opportunities to honor and thank those who have served our country from WWII to now.

Fredericksburg is a great weekend destination; make sure to include the National Museum of the Pacific War in your plans.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Columbus Day Author's Forum

On October 11 we will be hosting an author’s forum with three highly acclaimed WWII historians. All three authors have been speakers at the museum for past events.

James D. Hornfischer’s next book, Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal, will be published by Bantam Books on January 25, 2011.

Hornfischer is the author of two other acclaimed works of World War II naval history: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour and Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors, both published by Bantam.

Hornfischer’s writing career has grown out of a lifelong interest in the Pacific war. He has appeared on television on the History Channel, Fox News Channel’s “War Stories with Oliver North” and C-SPAN’s “BookTV.” A frequent speaker on the subject of the war in the Pacific, the U.S. Navy, and the experience of America’s sailors in World War II, he frequently addresses veterans organizations, youth and civic groups, and professional naval organizations on the inspiring stories found in his books.

A native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Texas School of Law, Hornfischer is a member of the Naval Order of the United States, the Navy League, and was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry as an “Admiral in the Texas Navy.” A former New York book editor, Hornfischer is president of the literary agency Hornfischer Literary Management, located in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and their three children.

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John Wukovits’ most recent book, Admiral “Bull” Halsey: The Life and Wars of the Navy’s Most Controversial Commander, was published in July of 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Wukovits has authored five other books, including American Commando; One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa; Pacific Alamo: The Battle for Wake Island; Eisenhower: A Biography (part of the “Great Generals” series); and Devotion to Duty: A Biography of Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague. His writing has also appeared in more than 25 magazines, including WWII History and American History.

When he was still in grade school, Wukovits read a book on the Battle of the Coral Sea and has been hooked ever since. Oliver North interviewed his as his chief historian for an episode of “War Stories with Oliver North” dealing with Wake Island. He was also the main historical consultant and on-air commentator for the History Channel’s ten-part series, Pacific: The Lost Evidence which re-airs frequently.

Wukovits earned his BA in history from Notre Dame and his MA in American History from Michigan State University. In 2005 he retired from teaching junior high school History and Language Arts. He is currently working on a book about the USS Samuel B. Roberts.

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Bill Sloan is the author of a dozen books, most recently Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944 – The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War. A former investigative reporter at the Dallas Times Herald, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Sloan lives in Dallas.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

'War Termination'

This year's symposium, 'War Termination,' was a success! The program was filmed this year and excerpts will soon be available for online viewing. While we are still sifting through photos and evaluating the weekend, here are a few highlights for anyone who missed it.

Richard Frank and his veteran panel on the conclusion of the war with Japan. Veterans include J.L. Summers, Lost Battalion P.O.W.; Hal Leith; Stanley Kuenstler and Bob Dale.

Vietnam veteran Jim Reckner, Ph.D. signing posters on Friday afternoon.

Vietnam historian Lewis Sorley, Ph.D., and Vietnam veteran Robert Caron.

Korean War veteran General Lim Sun-Ha, ROKA (Ret) and his wife Sandra.

General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret) presenting the Keynote Address.

As soon as the weekend's presentations are available online, a link will be posted.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

'War Termination' Historians

We’ve been very busy preparing for the coming symposium on how wars have ended throughout United States history. We’re certain that if you come, you’ll enjoy what you see. There will be nine historian/scholars here presenting in their areas of expertise on the way wars have ended beginning with the pre-World War era and ending with the first Gulf War.

Craig Symonds, Ph.D. will review the endings of U.S, wars up to the end of WWI. He is Professor Emeritus of American History at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is also the first to win both the Naval Academy’s ‘Excellence in Teaching’ and ‘Excellence in Research’ awards.

Kelly Crager, Ph.D. will serve as our moderator. He is currently the head of the Oral History Project at the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University.

Michael Pearlman, Ph.D. is author of ‘Truman and MacArthur: Policy, Politics, and the Struggle for Honor and Renown’ which tied for the Gold Medal for Outstanding History Book of 2009, and Independent Publisher Book Award. He will be talking on the meetings at Yalta and Potsdam and the end of WWII in Europe.

Richard Frank will take our audience from a military victory through enduring peace with the ending of the Pacific War. He is the author of the acclaimed WWII books, ‘Guadalcanal’ and ‘Downfall,’ he was also a consultant for the HBO series, ‘The Pacific.’

General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret) will deliver the Keynote Address after lunch on Saturday. He is a retired four-star Marine Corps General and former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command.

Allan Millett, Ph.D., the Ambrose Professor of History and Director of the Eisenhower CenterUniversity of New Orleans, will be speaking about the Korean War. for American Studies at the

Lewis Sorley, Ph.D. is the author of ‘A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam,’ and is our Vietnam War expert.

Geoffrey Wawro, Ph.D. will then bring us almost to current times by presenting on the Bosnian War and the first Gulf War. He is the General Olinto Mark Barsanti Professor of Military History and Director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas.

Sunday afternoon, H.W. Brands, the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, will close out our symposium with a lessons learned synopsis of the weekend.

This is just a taste of what each of our historian/scholars have accomplished in their field.

Each panel, starting with Rich Frank’s Pacific War panel, will also have veteran presenters to give their experiences in actually being there.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

65 Years Ago...

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Instrument of Surrender that brought WWII to a final end. Below are a handful of pictures of the surrender ceremonies from the museum's collection.

USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay 2 September 1945.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz signs Instrument of Surrender aboard USS Missouri.

General Douglas MacArthur signs Instrument of Surrender.

Color photo of Japanese delegate signing Instrument of Surrender.

U.S. ships at anchor at the close of the day in Tokyo Bay.

Celebrations of the end of WWII with pyrotechnics in Leyte Gulf.