1. Silent Voices of World War II—The intertwined experiences are told of the New Mexico Bataan Death March survivors who defended the Philippines; Navajo Code Talkers whose swiftness in translation provided accuracy on the beaches and in the jungles; Manhattan Project scientists and military personnel from all over the United States assigned to Los Alamos; and internees of Japanese descent sent to Santa Fe. Bartlit describes cultural conflicts which influence behavior and misunderstandings, and how the war scars continue to impact international relationships among Japan, Asian neighbors, and America.
2. The Manhattan Project National Historical Park—How did New Mexico assist the successful development of the atomic bombs with Los Alamos as the scientific epicenter, Santa Fe as its gateway, White Sands as its testing ground, Kirtland Air Force Base as its center for training and supplies, and the university Engineering Department as the place which helped modify B-29s to accommodate the atomic bombs’ unique sizes targeted for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan? Los Alamos welcomed scientists from many U.S. universities, England, and Hungarian and German Jewish researchers excluded from their work and communities in their native land on the basis of race, but whose understanding of nuclear research helped resolve the nuclear challenge.
3. The Second Atomic Bomb: Was Its Use Necessary?—On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, an atomic bomb made of plutonium. Bartlit explains how Japanese leaders took six days to surrender despite the Potsdam Declaration, the dropping of the two atomic bombs destroying two of their cities, and the Russian invasion of Manchuria. Japanese military leaders struggled with their samurai history in order to agree to surrender to the Allies. Japanese decision-making radically differs from American decision-making process. Americans puzzle over why one atomic bomb didn’t stop the war.
4. The Navajo U.S. Marines’ Indispensable Code and Its Use in the Pacific Theater—From 1942 until the end of the War and occupation of Japan, the Navajo Code was never broken by the enemy. Code talkers fought from Guadalcanal through Okinawa, shortening the War by a year. Nancy explains the Code and its “Code within a Code” developed by the original 29 Navajo U.S. Marine radiomen. She then explains how the Code was used with the increased number of Code Talkers into the six Marine Divisions expanded to fight in the Pacific. Returning Navajo Marines focused on education for themselves and scholarship funds for their youth.
5. The New Mexico National Guard and the Bataan Death March—New Mexico’s National Guard of 1,819 men were the first to be federalized into the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, then selected to defend Clark (Air) Base north of Manila because of their outstanding skills with rifles and anti-aircraft equipment. Bartlit toured the Bataan Death March route, and the sites of Allied prisoner camps north of Manila as well as Corregidor where General MacArthur was headquartered. Learn more about Bartlit’s interviews with survivors. View photos of archival scenes that illustrate her talk. Filipinos remember the rescue of their country and still express gratitude to Americans.
6. The Santa Fe Internment Camp—The former Civilian Conservation Corps Camp was converted to a camp for 4,555 civilian men of Japanese descent from 1942 to the spring of 1946. Initially, the men who were brought to Santa Fe, had been denied U.S. citizenship even though they had worked in America for two decades or more. They averaged 52 years. Innocent of wrong doing, learn how they spent their hours under the Geneva Convention rules while the sons of some fought in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Battalion.
7. The Santa Fe Internment Camp Historic Marker Controversy of 2002—For three years a committee of citizens met to decide how to mark the place where the Santa Fe Internment Camp for men of Japanese descent was located. Resistance to the plans were strongly expressed by families of the veterans who suffered more than three years as prisoners of the Japanese Empire. Learn how the city fathers resolved the conflict. The twentieth anniversary of the marker will be held in spring, 2022 and tensions have disappeared.
8. Ready, Willing, and Able: Women in World War II—Women performed multiple skills to produce war materials, to pilot B-29 airplanes, and to assist in atomic weapon research during th war. While captured, imprisoned U.S. Army and U.S. Navy nurses in the Philippines cared for civilian prisoners. America’s Occupation of Japan left a legacy of new civil rights and voting rights for Japanese women, championed by one non-Japanese woman in the then newly proposed constitution which General MacArthur ordered his staff to complete in one week!