Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Bomb Sight,' an Interactive Map of the World War II "Blitz" on London

Using World War II Bomb Census charts and records, the National Archives (UK), JISC and the University of Portsmouth, have developed an interactive web site where the visitor can search by address to pinpoint the many locations in Greater London where Nazi bombs fell to such destructive effect from early September of 1940 to May of the following year.

While the German bombing began in early September, 1940, "the maps in the archive do not completely align with the time period of the blitz so there is a slight mismatch but the reporting period we are investigating is between October 7th 1940 and June 1941 as this is the period in which data were collected."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November Veterans Day Exhibit at Niles Library

The World War I soldier's profile is an adaptation of an illustration from the cover of the
 library's copy of Sebastian Faulk's novel Birdsong. The replica items of World War II
battlefield fare were kindly loaned for exhibit by the Pritzker Military Library. The
World War I uniform on the left and Victory Medal in the "Great War for Civilization"
as well as the complete World War II Army Air Corps flight surgeon's uniform on the right
were assembled by Niles resident and collector Christopher Reuscher to honor the military
career of 99-year old Dr. Irwin Williger who is the oldest participant in the Veterans
History Project at the Niles Library.

The items above, including facsimilie cigarettes, matches, and toilet paper as well as such meal rations as Spam were loaned for exhibition by Nancy Houghton, the Director of External Affairs at the Pritzker Military Library at 104 S.Michigan Avenue.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

6th Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast, 11/8/12

The Niles Public Library presented its 6th Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast on Thursday morning, November 8, to honor the community's heroes and especially those participating in the national memoir of service program.

26 veterans assembled on stage for the roll call. The oldest veteran of World War II and the highest ranking in service was flight surgeon Major Irwin Williger who served in North Africa and later in Europe with the 40th Evacuation Hospital. Dr. Williger is seated fourth from right in the first row.

Sitting from left to right in the first row are: Bernard Warchol, Robert Morris, Walter Tymczuk, Niels H. K. Larsen,
Leonard Di Fabio, Matthew Wojtaszek, Jack Weinberg,  Irv Blaszynski (sitting on stage) Dr. Irwin Williger,
Irving Abramson, Al Lee and Art Art Shapiro.

In the 2nd row from left to right are: Milton Langer, Robert Lavery, Ray Rich, Matthew Potaczek, Tom Vana, Richard Vana, David Spitzer, and Al Komar.

In the third row from left to right are: Sam Schechter, Chuck Jacobs, Mike McNulty, John Bugajsky, Dr. Jerry Levin, Judith Carlson for Norman Berkman, and Russell Zapel.

This year's official picture was again taken by Sasha Vasilic, the Publicity and Graphic Design Coordinator of the Niles Library.

Linda Weiss, the Director of the Niles Public Library, and Chris Hanusiak, President of the Friends of the Niles Library and a veteran himself, welcomed and congratulated the special guests. Mrs. Weiss announced a donation of $500 from the library and the Friends of the Library to the Honor Flight Chicago Program.

The delicious breakfast was arranged by the Library's Marketing Director, Sue Wilsey, who worked in concert with
the generous Regency Rehabilitation Center of Niles. Kris Hansen, the Regency's Director of Marketing, pitched in to help serve the breakfast to the veterans, their guests, and the community as 73 people in all attended the breakfast. The food and beverage service at the breakfast was again most ably coordinated by  the library's Cyndi and her corps of volunteers:  Marilyn,  Lindsey, Helen ,
Stephanie, and Dottie. Library staff assisting in the presentation of the  program  were Judy McNulty, Dodie Frisbee, Ann Pasnick, Susan Lempke, Dave Dabrowski, John Ratzko,  Keith Winberg, Richard Woznicka, and  Don Burkhart.

The Legacy Girls as the Andrews Sisters provided the knock-out entertainment and closed their program with the “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" to everyone's delight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arlington National Cemetery Debuts New Database for the 400,000 Burials

"Arlington National Cemetery has developed ANC Explorer, an application that is available across common web browsers and on mobile smart phones. This app enables veterans, family members and the public to locate gravesites; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument; and receive directions to those locations." Arlington National Cemetery was established on May 13, 1864.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September, 2012 Book Sentry

Spot the new arrivals about military history, especially those books providing context for the library's ongoing Veterans History Project.


If you see a book that looks good, go to the library's Catalog  and place a hold.
                                   We will let you know when it comes in for you! 

94.541343 W262ar

Army of Evil: A History of the SS
By Weale, Adrian
2012-09 - New American Library

959.704 L832em 

Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam
By Logevall, Fredrik
2012-08 - Random House

973.931 E34fi

500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars
By Eichenwald, Kurt
2012-09 - Touchstone Books

956.7044345 L974se

Service: A Navy Seal at War
By Luttrell, MarcusWith Hornfischer, James D.
2012-05 - Little Brown and Company

958.10471 C456li

Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan
By Chandrasekaran, Rajiv
2012-06 - Knopf Publishing Group
9780307957146 Check Our Catalog

355.22363 F648dr

The Draft, 1940-1973

By Flynn, George Q.
1993-12 - University Press of Kansas

Library Announces its 6th Annual VHP Breakfast Event

Veterans, especially those who have participated in the Veterans History Project, are cordially invited to the library's 6th Annual Breakfast Reception on Thursday, November 8, at 9:15am at the Niles Public Library, 6960 W. Oakton St.

The program will conclude with a performance by the Legacy Girls who return by popular demand to serve the musical “dessert” as they present their swinging Andrews Sisters Style review of popular and patriotic songs from the 30’s and 40’s. RSVPs or other inquiries can be made to Neil O’Shea at the Niles Public Library at 847-663-6425 or by October 12th.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Sentry - August , 2012 Listing


Spot the new arrivals about military history, especially those books providing context for the library's ongoing

If you see a book that looks good, click on "Check Our Catalog" and place a hold. We will let you know when it comes in for you!
Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who Fought Them 355.00973 W947th
Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who Fought Them

By Wright, James
A masterful work of history, "Those Who Have Borne the Battle" expertly relates the burdens carried by veterans dating back to the Revolution, as well as those fighting today's wars. And it challenges Americans to do better for those who serve and sacrifice today.

The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea359.0092 B763ad
The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea
     By Borneman, Walter R.
How history's only five-star admirals triumphed in World War II and made the United States the world's dominant sea power.

Hitler's Spy Chief 943.0866092 C213hi - 3rd level Hitler's Spy Chief
     By Richard Bassett
Admiral Wilhelm Canaris was appointed by Hitler to head the Abwehr (the German secret service) eighteen months after the Nazis came to power. But Canaris turned against the F hrer and the Nazi regime, believing that Hitler would start a war Germany could not win. In 1938 he was involved in an
attempted coup, undermined by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

Basic 355.54 J17BA
Basic: Surviving Boot Camp and Basic Training
By Jacobs, Jack
From a Medal of Honor winner--the first book that provides a documented and oral history of an American institution: basic training. This book brings back memories for the 40 million people who have gone through it, and offers outsiders a look inside this life-changing experience.

Hammer of the Gods: The Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism 953.086092 L951ha
Hammer of the Gods: The Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism
     By Luhrssen, David
The secret, lost roots of Nazi philosophy

Stalin's General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov BIOGRAPHY Zhukov, G
Stalin's General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov
     By Roberts, Geoffrey

 Widely regarded as oone of the most accomplished generals of World War II, the Soviet military legend Marshal Georgy Zhukov at last gets the full-scale biographical treatment he has long deserved with the latest research from recently opened Soviet archives.

Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown 359.984 B646fe
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown
     By Blehm, Eric
This story is about a man of extremes, whose determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, the Navy SEAL's final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wisconsin Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, Inc Debuts Documentary

The Field of Honor salute to the Greatest Generation takes place at Milwaukee's Miller Park on August 11, 2012 and includes the showing of a new film that seeks to capture the experiences and thoughts of  World War II veterans on their special days in Washington, DC. The event's proceeds support the continuing flights which to date have enabled 2,000 local veterans to visit the memorials to their efforts in the nation's capital.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meaning of Flag Draped Coffin

Niles veteran Richard Rogala commended the following post to this blog.

"I hope you take the time to read this ... To understand what the flag
draped coffin really means ... Here is how to understand the flag that laid upon it and is surrendered to so many widows and widowers.The flag is folded 13 times and each fold holds deep meaning.

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion  of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens
trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, 'Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.'

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America , and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the
shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been
through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons
and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the
Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are
uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, 'In God We Trust.'

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the
appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning.

The apparent source for this internet  item is the Charles F. Hamblen American Legion Post 37 Department of Florida.
The website confirms this information and credits the flag folding ceremony at the U S Air Force Academy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scotsman Brian Foster Launches World's Biggest War Memorial on Internet

Heather Greenaway writes in the Daily

 "From the lost soldiers of Vietnam to US troops who died in Afghanistan, the online roll of honour created by Scots engineer Brian Foster has been opened for the first time for the public to see.

The dad-of-three, who now lives in Los Angeles, said: “We launched the roll of honour to remember the fallen in all the wars. We wanted to create a virtual memorial that brings the past into the present.

“It’s free to use and anyone around the world can log on and find out America’s heroes who are gone but not forgotten. It also gives the friends and families who have lost loved ones the chance to share their memories.

The site, which can only be accessed by members of the military, has brought together veterans of campaigns including World War II, Vietnam, Korea, the Gulf and ­Afghanistan. The pioneering website has become one of the world’s largest military archives, with 1.3million servicemen posting more than 2.5million photos and detailed accounts of some of history’s biggest battles."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Veterans Exhibit at Niles Historical Society

The Niles Historical Society is located at 8970 N.  Milwaukee Avenue in Niles, just south of  Ballard on the west side of the street in a handsome building, formerly a Cook County Sheriff's building. The museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30am to 3:00pm. Programs are usually held on the fourth Sunday of the month from 2-4pm. The society can be reached at 847-390-0160 and
The impressive display was organized and mounted by President Walter Beusse, LaVerne and Jim Kozak, and Doris Gottschalk. The display case in the center spotlights some of the museum's most notable military artifacts and include a gun powder flask from 1860, a U.S Flag that was flown onboard the LST 710 during the WWII invasion of Luzon and Manila, and a nurse's uniform.   

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lowe's offers everyday discount for military personnel

Illinois Amvets March issue carried this noteworthy item on page 7:

 Lowe's established the 10% Military Discount to support the men and women who are currently serving our country in the Armed Services 1 and to honor Retired Veterans and VA Recipients.2 This 10% discount is also extended to the immediate family3 of those who are currently serving, Retired Veterans, or VA Recipients.

To qualify for the Everyday 10% Military Discount, you must:

Be currently serving in, or retired from, a qualifying branch of the Armed Services, or be the immediate family member of someone who is and have a valid military ID Card.
Be a veteran who receives VA benefits and have a valid Veteran Identification Card (VIC).

We honor all Veterans on three specific holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day. During these three holiday weekends, we extend the discount to all veterans who served honorably and who present a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service. The Lowe’s Military Discount is extended to the Veteran community on these three holidays only.

The Military Discount must be used on personal purchases only and cannot be used for purchases, previous sales, or the purchase of gift cards or services including product installations. It cannot be combined with the Lowe’s Price Guarantee, or promotions such as "Spend and Get," "New Mover," "Project Starter," "Your Choice," or discounts such as Quote Support Program (QSP) quotes.

1 Armed Services — US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Coast Guard, or the National Guard and who are in active, reserve, or retired status.

2 Retired Veterans and VA Recipients — Veterans who have retired after 20 years of service and/or those who receive VA Benefits

3 Immediate Family — Spouses and/or dependent children (up to 18 years old.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VFW Post 7712 Observes Memorial Day, May 28, 2012

The color guard marches as the annual ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the newly landscaped Niles Veterans Memorial Waterfall, located at Touhy and Milwaukee Avenues.

 Post Commander James Kozak asks for a moment of silence as trumpeter Jean Laurenz plays "Taps." The Niles Police Shift Commander Joe Penze, Fire Chief Steve Borkowski, Commander Kozak, Mayor Robert Callero, Chris Hanusiak, Niles Trustee and President of the Friends of the Niles Public Library, the Post chaplain, and Trustees Rosemary Palicki and Louella Preston stand left to right.

Niles veterans Ray Bendig and Gene Kuffle discuss the moving and well-attended Memorial Day observance sitting next to Abraham Lincoln on his local landmark bench. Gene has his arm around our 16th President.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cold War POWS: Richard Rogala and Werner Juretzko

These two veterans co-presented a program based on their separate experiences at the Niles Library on Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. A son of Niles, Richard Rogala was captured by the North Koreans in early 1968 while serving on the ill-fated USS Pueblo.

Mr. Juretzko was captured by the East German STASI in 1955 while helping the US Army as a counter-intelligence agent.

The Pioneer Press covered the event and epublished this article about the successful program which also later appeared in the Niles Herald-Spectator of Thursday, May 24. The article was written by Tracy Gruen and the photographs were taken  by Vincent D. Johnson.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Annual May Exhibit Honoring Veterans

Initiated by Niles resident and veteran Al Aronson in 2009, this annual display honors America's veterans and highlights the library's participation in the national Veterans History Project.

This year the library spotlights the contributions of World War II B-17 tail gunner, Chester Rogala, and his son Richard, a POW of the North Koreans upon their capture of the US Pueblo in  1968.

Niles resident and collector, Chris Reuscher, assisted library staff in the planning and execution of the exhibit, loaning the historically accurate clothing and gear which would have been worn by Chester Rogala while serving in the US Army Air Corps, flying out of Foggia, Italy on his 51 combat missions. Niles veteran and resident, Ralph Ponfil, also made items available for the exhibit.

Richard Rogala displays his Navy uniform and the North Korean garb he wore upon his release across the Bridge of No Return on December 23, 1968 along with 81 other crew members.

Both transcripts can be read via the library's website along with those of 48 other veterans.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Historic Government Publications from World War II

The Historic Government Publications from World War II contains 343 Informational pamphlets, government reports, instructions, regulations, declarations, speeches, and propaganda materials distributed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) during the Second World War. The documents are held by Government Information Resources.

The documents, which reflect the thinking of the time, range widely in topics. You can view information on many categories, such as women's issues, children's issues, pocket guides to other countries, and more. You can view series, like the Victory Bulletin and 10 issues of the State Summary of War Casualties.

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen, 1943Government Information Resources digital collections are part of CUL Digital Collections, which contain thousands of digitized photographs, manuscripts, imprints, and works of art held by SMU's Central University Libraries special collections.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cold War POWs Library Program

Patrons can register via  the library's website at, using the patron calendar. The transcript of Richard Rogala's interview for the Veterans History Project can be read via the library's web site. Werner Juretzko is a member of the Cold War Museum, a recognized contributor for European Affairs and an active member in the Midwest Chapter.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May Book Sentry Listing

Spot the new arrivals about military history, especially those books providing context for the library's ongoing Veterans History Project

To locate one of the following or to place a "Hold" please go to
Check Our Catalog.

The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy Seal Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen  by Webb, Brandon , 2012-04 - St. Martin's Press, 9780312604226,

Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History and Family Wisdom by Benjamin Patton
2012-03 - Berkley Publishing Group 0425243516

We Got Him!: A Memoir of the Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein by Steve Russell
2011-12 - Threshold Editions 1451662483

Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog by Mike Dowling 2011-12 - Atria Books 451635966

Breaking the Code: A Father's Secret, a Daughter's Journey, and the Question That Changed
Everything by Karen Fisher-Alaniz 2011-11 - Sourcebooks 1402261128 

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan
by Michael Hastings 2012-01 - Blue Rider Press  0399159886

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The 1940 Census and the Greatest Generation

 Genealogist and author, Stephen Szabados presents his popular program on Sunday, Apr. 29, 2-3:30 pm at the Niles Public Library. The newly released 1940 census affords a closer look at the Greatest Generation who survived the Great Depression, won World War II, and laid the basis for America's prosperity.

The 1940 U.S. Census provides such unique information as where people lived 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved and detailed income and occupation. This census also included questions about  participation in the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Works Progress Administration (WPA), and National Youth Administration (NYA) programs.
Until the 1940 census is indexed by name, one needs an idea of where people lived in 1940 to determine the Enumeration District. Steve will explain how to use a number of sites to browse the images of the ED to find the entries for one’s relatives.
The Niles Library subscribes to the popular Library Edition database for use in the library. Patrons can research their ancestors using this valuable resource from any of the library’s public computers. Ancestry does provide access to the 1940 census.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Terror in Tuscany: World War II Atrocities

Terror in Tuscany: World War II Atrocities will be shown at the Niles Public Library on Wednesday evening, May 2, at 7 p.m. when Gia Marie Amella, an award-winning producer, presents her latest film.

The 2011 documentary recounts one of the forgotten chapters of World War II. On June 29th, 1944 German SS troops stormed the remote Tuscan village of San Pancrazio brutally murdering 73 people. By the war’s end an estimated 15,000 Italian civilians would become the unwitting targets of the Nazi campaign of violence.

Produced in collaboration with CNN International, Terror in Tuscany., features remarkable eyewitness stories of San Pancrazio’s massacre survivors and their decades-long quest for healing and justice.

Ms. Amella is a director, writer and producer based in Chicago and Montevarchi, Tuscany. A former Fulbright Fellow, she is the recipient of the 2011 Public Service Award from the National Immigration Council and the 2007 Impresa Award from the Joint Committee of Italian Americans. She is the co-managing partner of Modio Media, LLC.

Admission to the program is free but advance registration is required either in person at the library’s Information Desk or via the Niles Library web site at or by calling 847-663-1234. Registration closes on May 2 at 7 p.m.

The Niles Public Library, 6960 Oakton Street, is located at the northeast corner of Oakton Street and Waukegan Road. Library hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

United States Military Uniforms of World War II

Christopher Reuscher, Niles resident and collector, recently unveiled this splendid and extensive website.

US Enlisted Men's wool service uniforms of WWII (L-R) Army, Navy, Army Air Force, and Marine Corps.
This photograph of the library's May, 2011 display was taken by Chris and illustrates the range and quality of his collection of WWII uniforms. His treatment of the exhibit, which utilized items from his collection, can be found on the website at "Featured Displays."

Chris writes that the site's primary goal is to aid the visitor in identifying and gaining a better understanding of the clothing and uniforms worn by our iconic U.S. Service Men and Women of WWII.

His website is "a tribute to the efforts and contributions of all Americans who helped bring about a victorious conclusion to World War II for the United States of America and her Allies."

This Website was designed and developed by Christopher Reuscher. Questions and comments welcome at

Friday, March 23, 2012

Morton Public Library to Host Vietnam Wall

During the 2012 Pumpkin Festival in Morton, the Morton Public Library will be the location of a scaled down replica of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.  Article can be found at:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Sentry March, 2012

If you see a book that looks good, click on "Check Our Catalog" and place a hold. We will let you know when it comes for you!

Out of Uniform: Your Guide to a Successful Military-To-Civilian Career Transition By Wolfe, Tom 2011-12 - Potomac Books

The Road to Victory: From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa By O'Neill, Robert Foreword by Dye, Dale 2011-11 - Osprey Publishing (UK)

The Nation's Hangar: Aircraft Treasures of the Smithsonian By Van Der Linden, F. Robert Photographer Penland, Dane A. Photographer Long, Eric F. 2011-11 - Smithsonian Books (DC)

The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War By Wagner, Margaret E. Editor Angelos, Athena Introduction by Gallagher, Gary W. 2011-10 - Little Brown and Company

Blackhorse Riders: A Desperate Last Stand, an Extraordinary Rescue Mission, and the Vietnam Battle America Forgot By Keith, Philip 2012-02 - St. Martin's Press

Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives By Caddick-Adams, Peter 2012-02 - Overlook Press

Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan By Parnell, Sean Author Bruning, John 2012-02 - William Morrow & Company

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 1973 National Personnel Records Center Fire

The St. Louis fire destroyed between 16 and 18 million records. The complete account and heartening reconstruction efforts can be read at the National Archives-St. Louis website. The National Archives has been able to recover all or in part of 6.5 million records. This St. Louis Dispatch article describes the ongoing "labor of love and duty."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

World War II Remembered as veterans share their accounts

"World War II Remembered, a book of 56 recollections by “the greatest generation,” published by Kendal at Hanover, a retirement community in New Hampshire, rose over 6.6 million percent (to #6 from #396,999) because of a story on last night’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams." The success of this new book was reported on the blog/website, a favorite site of Niles Young Adult Librarian, Donna Block.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Free Tax Assistance for Combat Zone/Hazardous Duty Area Veterans

The Illinois CPA Society's CPAs for the Public Interest, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, offers the Military Service Tax Preparation Project to provide free personal income tax return filing assistance to members of the US Armed Forces who have recently returned or are still serving on active duty in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area. This news item was provided by Niles Reference Librarian, Darlene Fox, who regularly edits the Niles Reference Department's blog Good To Know.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Over 400,000 buried at Arlington National Cemetery, far more than thought

The Washington Post published an Associated Press story on Wednesday, January 25, summarizing the testimony of cemetery Executive Director Kathryn Condon who told the Senate hearing that there are now more than 400,000 people interred there. That’s 20 percent more than previous estimates of about 330,000.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Sentry January 2012

Book Sentry

Spot the incoming new books on military history, particularly those providing context for the library's Veterans History Project.

If you see a book that looks good, click on "Check Our Catalog" and place a hold. We will let you know when it comes for you!

Fatal Crossroads: The Untold Story of the Malmedy Massacre at the Battle of the Bulge
By Parker, Danny S.
2011-11 - Da Capo Press
From a leading expert comes the gripping tale of the largest single atrocity committed against American POWs on the Western Front in World War II. 288 pp. 25,000 print.

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
By Moorehead, Caroline
2011-11 - Harper
BookPage Notable Title
In January, 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time--a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship to transcend evil that is an essential addition to the history of World War II. 384 pp.

The Second World War: A Military History
By Corrigan, Gordon
2011-11 - Thomas Dunne Books
Here is a rare overview, which could be useful wherever one can buy only a limited number of titles on this subject of World War II. A member of the British Commission for Military History, Corrigan is an expert on the subject. 672 pp.

Grant's Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant's Heroic Last Year
By Flood, Charles Bracelen
2011-10 - Da Capo Press
In a masterful narrative, a prominent historian brings to life the last year of General Grant's life--a tragic, poignant, and inspiring story. 352 pp. 40,000 print. e

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Operation Hailstone on Truk Lagoon

On February 16, 1944, Americans launched Operation Hailstone, which has been called the Japanese Pearl Harbor,

The bombardment lasted for three days,wiping out 60 ships and 275 airplanes, sinking them to the bottom and making for the reputedly biggest ship graveyard in the world.