World War II Events This Fall

If you’re a World War II buff, the Twin Cities has an event for you almost every week this fall. (And then 2014 will kick off at Bethel with the premiere of Prof. Chris Gehrz’s new J-term course on WWII. Stay tuned for details…)

Hastings, InfernoFirst, the Ramsey County Library is offering an array of programs on World War II: a new look at the “Good” war. They include:

  • Reading about the War (Roseville, 7pm): A book discussion series facilitated by retired Macalester history professor Paul Solon. There are two nights left in the series: Max Hastings’ Inferno will be Thursday, October 17th (Prof. Gehrz is drawing on this book as part of his blog series on “The Second World War Before Pearl Harbor“); then Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut on Thursday, November 7th.
  • Warriors Behind the Legends (Roseville, 2pm): On Sunday afternoons through Oct. 13th, the U of M’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will co-sponsor this series of presentations. Up next, on the 29th, is a talk on espionage in the war.
  • Then the Maplewood, Mounds View, and White Bear branches will host their own events in October and November, including film screenings and events focused on music and the experience of the Homefront.

Second, the monthly talks that make up the Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Roundtable return to Historic Fort Snelling, generally on the second Thursday of each month from now until May. Admission is $5 (free for students). This year’s topics include:

  • The Bombing Campaign in the Pacific (Oct. 10, 2013), featuring author Barrett Tillman (Whirlwind) and B-29 combat veterans.
  • The Deutsch Lecture (Nov. 14, 2013), with David Kahn (Codebreakers; Seizing the Enigma).
  • The War in China (March 27, 2014), with three historians and veterans of this often-forgotten theater of the war.
  • Omaha Beach – The Deadliest Fighting on D-Day (May 8, 2014), with John McManus (The Deadly Brotherhood) and Normandy veterans discussing D-Day as its 70th anniversary approaches.

And the popular Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit remains on view at the Minnesota History Center (admission $11, discount for students, seniors, children, and active military), with highlights including a recreation of a flight on a C-47 cargo plane, an assembly line producing artillery shells, and an M-8 armored vehicle produced at the Ford Plant in St. Paul.

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