Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 2013 Veterans Exhibit at Niles Public Library Honors WACs and JFK

This fall’s November Veterans Day exhibit acknowledges the contributions of the WACS, the Women’s Army Corps, during World War II and also honors the memory of the nation’s 35th President, John F. Kennedy,  who served with distinction in the U.S. Navy. Fifty years ago in August of 1963, he wrote

"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy,'" 

The library acknowledges the help of the Niles Historical Society and its curator, Dan Smaczny, and the invaluable assistance of Niles resident, Chris Reuscher in mounting the exhibit. Dan arranged for the loan of the painting by the distinguished artist Konrad Hack. Once again, Chris shares historic uniforms from his personal collection and his considerable expertise in their display.

Here's a close-up of the Konrad Hack painting of General George Marshall and Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby,
"Inspecting the WAC," which now hangs back at its current home at the Niles Historical Society where the artist will appear in a public program on Saturday, November 23, from 2 - 4 pm.The NHS telephone number is 847-390-0160.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Canadian War Museum Exhibit about Jan Karski, the Holocaust Whistleblower

THE WORLD KNEW – Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity 

is the new exhibition at the Ottawa museum. This item was supplied by a follower of this blog. He wrote:

                     It was the opening of an exhibit on Jan Karski, a Pole who went deep
                      into the ghettoes of Warsaw to get first-hand material on the Holocaust that 
                      would be used in pleading the case for intervention to Roosevelt.
                                              (Unsuccessfully, Unfortunately)
 The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa was a contributing paratner to the exhibition.

Jan Karski's book, Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World, is available at the Niles Public Library on the 3rd floor at 940.53438 K18st. Patrons may check the library's online catalog for the current status of the book, first published in 1944.

Monday, November 11, 2013

7th Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast

The Niles Public Library presented its 7th Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast on Wednesday morning, November 6, to honor the community's heroes and especially those participating in the national memoir of service program.The veterans and their guests as well as members of the community, numbering 72 in all, applauded the Legacy Girls in the breakfast finale as they performed the Andrews Sisters' Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and other favorites from the late 30s and 40s.
The 24 guests of honor assembled on stage for the group picture and roll call.  

Standing in the back row from left to right are John O’Malley, Jerry Levin, Rich Hyland, Sam Schechter, Leo Madura, Russell Zapel, and Mike McNulty.  

Seated in the 2nd row of chairs from left to right are Ken Radnitzer, John Bugajsky, Charles Matz, Robert Lavery , Kenneth Lee, Jack Weinberg, Tom Vana, and Richard Vana. 

Seated in the first row from left to right are Walter Tymczuk, Max Kolpas, Irv Abramson, Matthew Wojtaszek, Bill Shipp, Judith Carlson for Norman Berkman, Arthur Shapiro, Don Spitzer and seated on the stage is Bernard Warchol.  

This year's official picture was taken by Colleen Kelly, the Graphic Design Coordinator of the Niles Public Library. The breakfast service was co-sponsored with the Regency Rehabilitation Center in Niles, IL and the office of its Community Outreach Coordinator, Anna Kolis.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rest In Peace Matthew Potoczek, U.S. Army, Sergeant, China-Burma-India

Niles resident and World War II veteran, Matthew Potoczek, died on October 26, 2013 at the age of 88. He was a member of the last cavalry unit in the U.S. Army and once had the famous entertainer, Dan Dailey as his commanding officer during basic training.

A copy of the cover of his transcript appears below.

Mr.  Potoczek's  memoir of service can be read and listened through the Niles Public Library's web site.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Profiles In Courage High School $10,000 Essay Contest Announed

Complete contest information for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest for high school students is available at 

 High school teachers are encouraged to invite their students  to write an original essay on an act of political courage by a U.S elected official who served during or after 1956.

 The 35th President of the United States wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book as a Senator in 1957. He himself was awarded the the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his courageous conduct as commanding officer of the PT 109 torpedo boat in World War II in the Pacific after the boat's collision with a Japanese destroyer in the Solomon Islands on  August 1, 1943.

The book is available at the Niles Public Library and its availability  can be ascertained by checking the library's catalog .

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Sentry October, 2013

The newly ordered titles listed below  provide context for the library's ongoing Veterans History Project. The Niles Public Library is a founding partner with the Library of Congress in the national effort to preserve the memoirs of those who served.

Patrons can check the current availability of these books by checking the library's catalog where they can also place holds on books.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rest in Peace, Walter Beusse, Boatswain 2/C

World War II veteran Walter Beusse passed away last month at age 92. Mr. Beusse was an early participant in the Veterans History Project at the Niles. His transcript of his 2 and 1/2 years of service in the US Navy
as a Navy Seabee in the Pacific can be read in the library and online via the library's web site  .

The cover of Mr. Beusse's transcript appears below.

An excellent local obituary, reviewing his many contributions to the civic life in Niles and written by Pam DeFiglio, appeared in the Niles-Morton Grove Patch on September 29.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Home for Veterans History Project Collection at the Niles Public Library

The library's ongoing, exciting renovation has made it possible for the repackaging and new placement of the 52 interview sets out on the 3rd floor in the Adult Reference Collection within sight of the service counter.

The VHP Collection now enjoys more visibility and easier access for  public.

The interviews can also be read and listened to and searched on the  library's new website at  . They are organized and accessed by the search tabs on the left: World War II  – Europe, World War II  - Pacific, Homefront, Korea, Cold War and Viet Nam.