2013 Spring Programs

January 10, 2013

2013 Spring Programs

(MADISON) ― The Wisconsin Veterans Museum has a number of interesting programs planned this spring.  All programs are free and open to the public. They are hosted in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum’s 2nd Floor Education Center, unless otherwise noted.

When:     Thursday, February 7, 2013 at NOON
Topic:     Madison Navy League Presents Maritime History & Education Learn Over Lunch Series – “The RMS Titanic Disaster: 100 Years of Maritime Safety”
Lecture and Discussion
Location: Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison
Speaker:  Hank Whipple

With the tragic loss of life in April of 1912 with the sinking of the RMS Titanic, the world’s maritime community has since learned and applied the lessons taught during the subsequent 100 years, contributing greatly to maritime safety and the preservation of life at sea. Hank Whipple will discuss this story of maritime safety and how it has improved
since that fateful day in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

When:       Friday, February 22, 2013 at NOON
Topic:        Veteran Voices: Oral History at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Panel Discussion
Location:   Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison
Speaker:    Oral Historian Molly Graham and a Panel of Veterans

This presentation discusses the museum’s oral history program, its history, collection and ongoing efforts to collect and preserve veteran stories and experiences, recorded in their own voices.  The panelists include Molly Graham, the museum’s oral historian, Rick
Berry, a volunteer interviewer, and two veterans who have recorded their own oral history interviews with the museum. Each panelist will share their different roles and perspectives on oral history and the interview process.

When:       Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7 PM
Topic:       This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home
Lecture and Book Signing
Location:  Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison
Speaker:   Michael Edmonds and John Zimm

More than 150 years after it began, the Civil War still fascinates us – the vast armies marching to war, iconic leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, the drama of a nation divided. But the Civil War was also about individuals, the hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and boys who fought and died on either side and the families and friends left at home. “This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home” tells this other side of the story. Drawing from more than 11,000 letters in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Civil War collection, it gives a unique and intimate glimpse of the men and
women who took part in the War for the Union. From impressions of army life and the South to the hardships of disease and battle, these letters tell the story of the war through the eyes and pens of those who fought in it. “This Wicked Rebellion” brings to life the heroism and heartache, mayhem and misery of the Civil War and the powerful role Wisconsin played in it.

When:     Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7 PM
Topic:     The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Losing War in 1943
Location: Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison
Speaker:  Rob Citino, Professor at University of North Texas and Author

Throughout 1943, the German army, heirs to a military tradition that demanded and perfected relentless offensive operations, succumbed to the realities of its own overreach and the demands of twentieth-century industrialized warfare. In his new study, prizewinning author Robert Citino chronicles this weakening Wehrmacht, now fighting desperately on the defensive but still remarkably dangerous and lethal.

Drawing on his impeccable command of German-language sources, Citino offers fresh, vivid, and detailed treatments of key campaigns during this fateful year: the Allied landings in North Africa, General von Manstein’s great counterstroke in front of Kharkov, the German attack at Kasserine Pass, the titanic engagement of tanks and men at Kursk, the Soviet counteroffensives at Orel and Belgorod, and the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy. Through these events, he reveals how a military establishment historically configured for violent aggression reacted when the tables were turned; how German commanders viewed their newest enemy, the U.S. Army, after brutal fighting against the British and Soviets; and why, despite their superiority in materiel and manpower, the Allies were unable to turn 1943 into a much more decisive year.

Ultimately, Citino produces a grim portrait of the German officer corps, dispelling the
longstanding tendency to blame every bad decision on Hitler. Filled with telling vignettes and sharp portraits and copiously documented, The Wehrmacht Retreats is a dramatic and fast-paced narrative that will engage military historians and general readers alike.

When:   Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7 PM
Topic:    More Than Freedom: African Americans and the Meaning of the Civil War
Lecture and Book Signing
Location: Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison
Speaker:  Stephen Kantrowitz, Historian

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is generally understood as the moment African Americans became free, and Reconstruction as the ultimately unsuccessful effort to extend that victory by establishing equal citizenship. In More Than Freedom, award-winning historian Stephen Kantrowitz boldly redefines our understanding of this entire era by showing that the fight to abolish slavery was always part of a much broader campaign to establish full citizenship for African Americans and find a place to belong in a white
republic. Bringing a bold new perspective to one of our nation’s defining moments, “More Than Freedom” helps to explain the extent and the limits of the so-called freedom achieved in 1865 and the legacy that endures today.

When:      Friday, April 26, 2013 at NOON
Topic:       Sunk in Kula Gulf: The Final Voyage of the U.S.S. Helena and the Incredible Story of Her Survivors in World War II
Lecture and Book Signing
Location:  Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison
Speaker:   John Domagalski

Sunk in Kula Gulf tells the epic story of the Helena’s survivors. Two destroyers plucked more than seven hundred from the sea in a night rescue operation as the battle continued to rage. A second group of eighty-eight sailors —clustered into three lifeboats—made it to a nearby island and was rescued the next day. A third group of survivors, spread over a wide area, was missed entirely. Clinging to life rafts or debris, the weary men were pushed
away from the area of the sinking by a strong current. After enduring days at sea under the hot tropical sun, they finally found land. It was, however, the Japanese-held island
of Vella Lavella and deep behind the front lines. The survivors organized and disappeared into the island’s interior jungle. Living a meager existence, the group evaded the Japanese for eight days until the Marines and U.S. Navy evacuated the shipwrecked sailors in a daring rescue operation.

Using a wide variety of sources, including previously unpublished firsthand accounts, John J. Domagalski brings to life this amazing, little-known story from World War II.

To schedule interviews with speakers or museum staff, contact Evan Usher at (608) 264-7663. Where book signings are mentioned, books will be available for purchase both before and after the events specified. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is a free public educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and is located at 30 W. Mifflin St., across the street from the State Capitol. For more information go to  www.wisvetsmuseum.com./


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