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Thanks to a large-scale digitization project now underway, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will make its important, immense historical collection available instantly and easily to Army leaders, educators, veterans, students, and researchers anywhere in the world.  

In the first year of the multi-year USAHEC project, newly digitized material is putting at anyone’s fingertips the historical materials that enhance understanding of the past and guide thinking about current and future national security issues. USAHEC will select material for digitization that will enable historically informed thinking about modernization, nuclear weapons, homeland security experiences, recruiting, social change, among others. Now available -- 

  • The papers of Army Gen. Donn A. Starry, who wrote about his experience as senior USA observer to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War battlefield, and as the commander of US Army Training and Doctrine command as it led the 1980s modernization projects that resulted in AirLand Battle doctrine and the ‘Big Five’ weapons systems. 
  • The papers and battle recollections of Gen. Paul L. Freeman, Jr., who commanded the 23rd Infantry Regiment in Chipyong-Ni, Feb 1951, at a turning point in the Korean War.  During his years as CINC USARER and CG of the Continental Army Command, Freeman contributed a senior officer debriefing transcript in which he recounted the lessons and experiences of his career.
  • In addition to archival material, 100 percent of our artifact collection can be searched online, including items such as Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.’s the Distinguished Service Medal. The United States was a segregated nation during World War II. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., the Regular Army's first African American general officer, was the senior leader dealing with issues pertaining to African American Soldiers. General Davis was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal in 1945 for his contributions. His Distinguished Service Medal serves as a representation of how a good leader, despite the limitations of segregation in the Army and the Nation, can rise above the political and cultural turmoil to do his duty for the Army. His work is directly linked to President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order 9981 of 26 July 1948 that desegregated the American military. 

“This is one of the largest single undertakings to digitize historical materials ever attempted,” said USAHEC Director Geoffrey Mangelsdorf.  “Over the next five years, new material will be uploaded daily into the online search interface system.  This will be a radical change in how military leaders, military students, and scholars can leverage our extraordinary collection.  General officer papers, battlefield reports, Soldiers’ journals and letters, and 33 million images will be accessible anywhere, anytime.” 

U.S. Army Soldiers’ personal historical materials, such as diaries, letters, artifacts and audiovisual items, are among the truly unique elements of the USAHEC collection. For 52 years, USAHEC has collected and preserved the personal historical materials of Soldiers from five-star General Omar N. Bradley to the most junior Soldiers.  When digitization makes these accessible anywhere, anytime, their thoughts, observations, and emotions will inform both the Army and the public. 

Access the keyword searchable online system, by visiting https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu  and clicking on “Explore.” Users can type into the search bar, browse new and notable collections, or take advantage of the Search Tips provided in the menu bar.

 USAHEC is the U.S. Army’s preeminent archive, academic library, museum and research complex with extensive historical resources for Soldiers, researchers and visitors. As an organization deeply involved with both the Army and the public, USAHEC is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the men and women who have served their nation as Soldiers and to educating the military and the public on the important role of the Army in U.S. history.

Visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center’s archives and public museum at 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013.

 

 

 

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Ernie Gross was 15 when he was deported from his native Romania to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi extermination camp in Poland where over 1.1 million people were murdered.  On February 3, he will share his story with local teachers and students at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle.  

In line for selection, where Jews were either chosen for slave labor or sent directly to the gas chambers, a Polish inmate saved his life.  “He asked me how old I was and I said 15.  He said by the time I got to the end of the line I’d better be 17 if I wanted to live.”  When he got there, Ernie lied about his age and was spared from death.

Ernie endured a year in the camps, marching barefoot in the snow, carrying heavy bags of cement, surviving on starvation rations.  As the Allies closed in on Auschwitz, Ernie and more than 56,000 prisoners were marched west, away from the advancing Soviets.  They marched without adequate food or clothing in sub-zero temperatures.  Somewhere between 9,000 and 15,000 prisoners died or were shot for falling behind on the way.

Ernie persevered and reached Dachau in Bavaria, Germany.  There, he survived additional months of starvation and brutality.  He had reached the end of his endurance when he was rescued by the arrival of the U.S. Army on April 29, 1945.

In the years that followed, Ernie regained his hope through acts of generosity.  

The event is sponsored by the Army Heritage Center Foundation with the support of the Stabler Foundation.  “The Soldiers who liberated the camps are important witnesses to the atrocities of the Holocaust,” says Foundation Education Director Jeff Hawks.  “This program is part of our efforts to share the stories of survivors and liberators with a broad audience of students, teachers, and the general public.”

For more information, contact the Army Heritage Center Foundation at 717-258-1102 or eddirector@armyheritage.org.

 

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Have you ever wondered how reenactors and living historians started their hobby?  Do you have questions about the day-to-day lives of Soldiers throughout history?  If you are interested in the stories of Soldiers, join the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center for the 9th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day! Experience military reenacting and living history up close and personal on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM in USAHEC's Visitor and Education Center.

This free event is open to the public and will feature dozens of different living history organizations including over three hundred reenactors from all periods of U.S. Army and world military history.  This year, USAHEC will feature musical performances along with historical fiction author meet-and-greet booths. Reenactor Recruitment Day is not only a great outing for kids and history aficionados alike, it also serves as an opportunity for reenactors to meet with members of other living history organizations and discuss aspects of historical presentation/interpretation.

Reenactor Recruitment Day features hundreds of living historians representing Soldiers and other service members.  From pikemen and swordsmen of the 16th century, through Civil War cavalry, to Desert Storm medics, just about every Army time period is represented. The event will also include allied and adversary units. Reenactors will be in period dress and have table displays where they will be available to answer any questions, talk about their equipment and materials, discuss their upcoming activities, and highlight the importance of reenacting as a way to keep history alive. Come to USAHEC to experience history, live!

The 9th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day is free and open to the public, including children of all ages. There will also be a huge used book sale in two locations this year: In front of the store all weekend and a special collection located in the Café area Friday and Saturday only. Hours for the book sale are Friday, Feb. 7th 12pm -4:30 pm; Saturday, Feb. 8th 10am-4:30pm; Sunday, Feb. 9th -12pm–4:30pm.

 

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In December 2018, the Nation finally recognized the contributions of our Chinese-American Veterans of World War II. Congress passed and the President signed the Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act honoring the approximately 20,000 Chinese-Americans, or about 22% of their adult male population, that willingly served during the war.  Of those, over 90% served in the Army. The Army Heritage Center Foundation will honor and recognize their service at its 12th Annual Membership and Recognition Dinner on November 2, 2019.  Come honor their service as Harry Jung, a WWII Infantryman and a representative of the Chinese-American Soldiers of WWII, receives the Foundation’s Living Legend Award.

Honorees

  • Living Legend Award: Chinese-American World War II Veterans, represented by Mr. Harry Jung, Sergeant, 414th Infantry Regiment
  • Boots on the Ground Award: American Overseas Memorial Day Association

The Foundation has also selected the American Overseas Memorial Day Association to receive the Boots on the Ground Award.  Since 1920, the Association has ensured that those who sacrificed their lives for our Nation, and are buried in our overseas cemeteries, are honored on special occasions and most importantly on Memorial Day.  Each year, the Association facilitates and supports ceremonies honoring the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I and II.

The Dinner

This annual dinner will be held at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, allowing the Foundation to better showcase the Center’s assets to its guests, to honor Veterans past and present, and those who support Soldiers, the Army Heritage Center Foundation, and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in “Telling the Army Story . . . one Soldier at a time.®”   

Included in the evening’s activities is a silent auction that includes unique items and gift certificates to regional attractions, restaurants, wineries, and golf courses, among others.

Dinner sponsorship opportunities are available. For additional details about the dinner and silent auction, or to order tickets, please contact the Foundation at (717) 258-1102, info@armyheritage.org, or visit www.armyheritage.org.

About the Foundation and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) — the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center.  As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain, as part of USAHEC. The Foundation will then focus on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable. 

The Foundation completed Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center in 2010.   This project provided the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus its first major gallery and multipurpose rooms to host educational programs and special events. In 2012, the Foundation funded infrastructure improvements to include parking and storm water management systems to support future construction.  The Foundation completed a 7,500 expansion of the Visitor and Education Center in September 2016 that added an additional gallery, a multipurpose room to meet growing demand for program space, and enhanced seating in the former cafeteria area.

The Foundation will continue to seek grants and donations to complete the Visitor and Education Center, the Army Heritage Center, and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program includes management of the National History Day in Pennsylvania competition and workshops and seminars that complement USAHEC’s programs and exhibits. 

The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. 

USAHEC is dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served this nation as Soldiers and preserving their legacy through the acquisition of their letters, diaries, photos, and artifacts that document their service.  USAHEC also educates a broad audience on the heritage of the Army by making its collections available to the public in the Ridgway Hall research room, through exhibits on the USAHEC campus, and through special programs.   A Smithsonian Affiliate, USAHEC is a component of the U.S. Army War College.  Since 2004, when the facility opened to the public, almost 2 million have visited.  Learn more about USAHEC at https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu.

 

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Perspectives in Military History General of the Army Omar N. Bradley Memorial Lecture

The British Are Coming: The Revolution Trilogy, Part I

Mr. Rick Atkinson Pulitzer Prize Winner and New York Times Bestselling Author

In mid-January 1777, Lord Cornwallis of the invincible British Army retreated from the New Jersey countryside after two years of epic struggle against up-start American rebels. From the bloodshed on Lexington Common to the defeats at Trenton and Princeton, the American Revolution raged throughout the new United States.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:15PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will welcome Historian and Pulitzer Prize Winner Mr. Rick Atkinson to present the General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley Memorial Lecture. He will discuss the first book in his upcoming Revolution Trilogy, entitled The British Are Coming. Atkinson combines personal stories, with the savage narrative of the first twenty-one brutal months of the Revolutionary War to give a new perspective on the fight for independence. In his new book, Atkinson describes the events and personal stories of the men and women fighting for control of the North American continent. He combines in-depth research on the politics of British sovereignty from the British Royal Archives, with the hard-scrabble personal accounts of American fighters, from the lowest private to the most powerful generals. This first installment of a new trilogy on the American Revolution covers the causes of the war from the initial fighting at Lexington and Concord, General George Washington’s defeats near Boston and New York City, the triumph and tragedy of the campaigns in Canada, and concludes with Washington’s victories at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.

Mr. Atkinson received his Masters of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago and worked as an editor and correspondent for the Washington Post for twenty-five years. Atkinson earned the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2003 for An Army at Dawn, his first book in The Liberation Trilogy. He followed with two New York Times Best Sellers, The Day of Battle and The Guns at Last Light. Atkinson received the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for National Reporting, and has published numerous award-winning books spanning topics such as West Point and the war in Iraq.

DATE: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

For updates and any last-minute changes in event meeting times and places, please check www.USAHEC.org, our Facebook Page, or call the Information Desk at 717-245-3972.

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