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Flying “the Hump” in WWII

“The Library of Congress Veterans History Project collects the first-hand remembrances of U.S. military veterans and Gold Star Family members so their stories will be accessible to future generations. Individuals and organizations across the country are invited to contribute a variety of materials to this important archive: oral histories, original letters, photos, unpublished memoirs, journals or diaries, 2-D artwork, and other military documents of veterans from World War I through current conflicts. At the project website you can find more information and a searchable database of transcripts and oral history recordings.” For full story click here.

WWII American Submariner Dies

“William Leibold was one of nine survivors of a crew of 87 on the Navy submarine Tang. The sailors were plucked out of frigid ocean water on Oct. 25, 1944, by an Imperial Japanese Navy patrol boat after the sub had aggressively attacked a convoy in the Formosa Strait en route to the Philippines. The Tang was credited with taking out 33 enemy ships, carrying out daring attacks and rescuing numerous downed airmen during its wartime patrols, earning it the reputation as the most lethal Allied sub in the Pacific in World War II.” Read full story with link to Leibold’s video oral history here.

NFSA Audio-Visual of COVID

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia to ensure that key moments in Australian history such as the COVID-19 crisis are collected and preserved. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has announced the measures it is taking in order to collect and preserve a wide range of audiovisual records of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Read full story here.

Coffs Harbour Digital Collection

Coffs Harbour and the region’s cultural treasures and stories are available online following the launch of Coffs Harbour City Council’s digital ‘Coffs Collections’ service. You can discover and journey through the extensive historic and present-day artefacts, oral histories, documents, films, photographs, publications and art collections of Coffs Harbour’s past and present. Read full story with link to the website here.

NHS and COVID

“A University of Manchester team of researchers and volunteers who have been documenting NHS voices of COVID-19 since March, are to join forces with the British Library thanks a grant of nearly £1m. Dr Stephanie Snow, who leads the influential ‘NHS at 70’ project, and her team have already collected over 200 COVID-19 voices, including Nick Hart, the respiratory doctor who treated Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care.” Read full story here and listen to oral history excerpts, including one with doctor who treated Boris Johnson, here.

Fight for Vote, USA

“Like many African Americans living in the Jim Crow South, Fannie Lou Hamer was not aware she had voting rights. “I had never heard, until 1962, that black people could register and vote,” she once explained. The granddaughter of enslaved black people, Hamer was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi, in 1917. As the youngest of 20 children in a family of sharecroppers, she was forced to leave school during the sixth grade to help on the plantation. In 1925, when Hamer was only 8, she witnessed the lynching of a local sharecropper named Joe Pulliam who had dared to speak up for himself when local whites refused to pay him for his work. “I remember that until this day, and I won’t forget it,” she admitted in a 1965 interview. By that point, Hamer had become a nationally recognized civil rights activist, boldly advocating for the right to political participation that black Americans had long been denied.” Read full story with link to oral history interview here.

Navajo Code Talkers in WWII

“The life stories of nine Navajo Code Talkers were featured in a ceremony at Window Rock, Ariz., as part of Navajo Code Talkers Day on Friday, August 14, 2020. The films were created by students of Winona State University and Diné College, Tsaile, Ariz., the tribal college of the Navajo Nation. The films were created under the Navajo Oral History project, an academic collaboration of the two education institutions, which ran from 2009-2015. During six years of active field work, students in the Navajo Oral History project made 27 documentary films about Navajo elders, including nine films about Navajo Code Talkers.” Read full story here and watch the video oral histories here.

Remembering an Apollo Engineer

“One of the truly unsung heroes of the Apollo program has passed away at age 95. Donald D. Arabian, Chief of the Apollo Test Division, headed the Mission Evaluation Room (MER), which was responsible for solving in-flight problems during the Apollo missions to the Moon.  His nickname was “Mad Don,” and anyone who had the privilege of meeting him or working with him described Arabian as “one of a kind,” “colorful,” and “completely and totally unforgettable.” But in the book “Apollo: Race to the Moon” authors Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox designated Arabian as one of four people responsible for the success of the Apollo Program.” Read full story with link to oral histories here.

Partition and Virtual Reality

“Rabin Sengupta is one among the fourteen million people displaced in Punjab and Bengal during the partition of 1947. At the stroke of midnight on 14th August 1947, India would see itself divided along the Radcliffe line. And communal riots would push fourteen million to uproot their entire lives almost overnight and head for bleak futures in the newly created countries in what’s now known as the largest mass migration in human history.  After seven decades, many of them are getting a chance to get a glimpse of their ancestral lands once again, thanks to a virtual reality project by a team of tech and history enthusiasts from Oxford University. Here’s the story of Project Dastaan, and of people yearning to go back home.” Read full story here