Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fitzharris receives Simmons Award

Our very own Dr. Joseph C. Fitzharris, Professor Emeritus of History, University of St. Thomas, received the 2018 Edwin H. Simmons Award from the Society for Military History.

The Edwin H. Simmons Award (formerly the Victor Gondos Award) is presented for long, distinguished or particularly outstanding service to the Society for Military History.

Established in 1933 as the American Military History Foundation, renamed in 1939 the American Military Institute, and renamed again in 1990 the Society for Military History, the Society is devoted to stimulating and advancing the study of military history. Its membership (today more than 2700) has included many of the world’s most prominent scholars, soldiers, and citizens interested in military history.

VE Day 2017 — Honoring Vets

10:30 – Assemble on SOUTH Capitol Lower Steps
11:00 – March to WWII Memorial, South Side
11:15 – Ceremony at WWII Memorial (See Video)
11:45 – Closing
Sponsored: WWII History Round Table
WWII Russian Veterans Association

See flyer for the program.
See Video on the Immortal Regiment

“Wiesenthal” — Play at Illusion Theatre, 2017 APR 25-30

Filled with hope, humanity and humor, Wiesenthal is the riveting true story of Simon Wiesenthal, an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. Nicknamed the “Jewish James Bond,” he devoted his life to bringing more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice. Intelligent, funny, flawed and noble, Wiesenthal was a universal hero. His unbelievable dedication and tenacity over decades is honored in this play, which gives equal weight to his wisdom and wit during his long, purposeful life.

Tony Award winner Daryl Roth and Karyl Lynn Burns present the New York premiere of Wiesenthal, the award-winning play written by and starring Tom Dugan.

We are grateful for the Sponsorship of JCRC to support this production.

Wiesenthal Playbill

For tickets and information call the Illusion Theatre at 612-339-4944 or go the website

Commemorate Exec Order 9066

The Japanese American Citizens League is organizing a program to commemorate FDR’s Executive Order 9066 that incarcerated Japanese-American Citizens.  
19 Feb 2017, Sunday, 3M Auditorium at MN Historical Society, 345 West Kellogg, St Paul

CALL:  651-259-3015 for reservation of FREE ticket

Don Patton Honored by the Minnesota Humanities Center

25 Outstanding Minnesota Veterans Were Honored  on September 11, 2016 by the Minnesota Humanities Center for  Their Leadership and Community Contributions, including our own Don Patton.  Here is his citation:
Colonel Donald G. Patton. Army. Edina
Don Patton is an Army Veteran from Edina who served in the U.S. Army for 30  years, which included 13 years in command positions with two battalion commands. He served as Commander of Unit  as custodian of Nuclear Weapons for the French Air Force. After graduation from the Army War College in  1985, he organized, with
Dr. Harold Deutsch, the WWII History Round Table, which includes oral histories  from WWII Veterans. Since retiring as a Colonel, Don works tirelessly to preserve the factual history and  study of WWII. Don’s work through the Round Table includes organizing and  leading tours of European  battlefields and American cemeteries to educate and pay tribute to American Veterans. The WWII History  Round Table has organized over 300 programs that recognize, honor, and tell the stories of over 1,000  Veterans. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal five times during his military service. Recently, Don  was awarded the Minnesota Superior Civilian Service Award by the Adjutant General of Minnesota for his  work with the Round Table and raising awareness of Veterans’ contributions. He is currently serving on the  Committee for Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
For more information on Veterans’ Voices and all 2016 awardee bios visit

JOIN US ON February 11!! (McManus outline)

On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany.

These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and—perhaps most disturbing of all—the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes.

Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts—including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections—Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.

John C. McManus is a Curators’ Professor of History at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is the author of The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II and Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq.