Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WWII and Montevallo

World War II has descended on Montevallo this spring. At the beginning of March, Jason Cooper posted a blog titled Women's History: The Original Flygirls. Jason's entry highlights a piece that aired on NPR's Morning Edition about WASP, Women Airforce Service Pilots.

On April 19th, we will pay tribute to UM Professor of Biology and author, E. B. Sledge. The event will be held at Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo. Dr. Sledge's book With the Old Breed is considered by many to be one of the finest war memoirs ever published. The book is used heavily by researchers and serves as a major foundation piece for HBO's miniseries The Pacific.

UM's History Department offers many classes that focus on World War II subject matter and this semester is no exception. Two of these courses are Dr. Ruth Truss' History 481/581 "The United States 1900-1945" and Dr. Clark Hultquist's History 411/511
"Europe 1914-1945.

Finally, UM's University Archives and Special Collections contains a small, but interesting group of WWII materials. Located primarily in the Helen Parrish Collection and the Presidential Papers of Dr. Arthur Fort Harman, the items offer a real sense of what the home front was like during the war years. Harman's Papers contain documents and letters about salvaging items and donating them to the war effort. Scrap paper and tin were highly sought after material. Items in the Helen Parrish Collection include personal correspondence with soldiers stationed in Europe, a piece of Vmail, and war ration booklets (with some stamps still intact). Helen was a student and employee at Alabama College, in the 1940s, and her keepsakes were part of a recent donation to our Archives.

Special thanks to Jamie Rawls for processing the Helen Parrish Collection and to Dallas Hanbury and Kathy Ratcliffe for their research on this project. Also thanks to Hunter Tinsley and Joel Bullock for their digital image work.

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