About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for The Paratrooper Generals: Matthew Ridgway, Maxwell Taylor, and the American Airborne from D-Day through Normandy

September 15, 2020 

Greetings from the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to this virtual book talk. Our special guest, Mitchell Yockelson will be on-screen soon to tell us about his book The Paratrooper Generals: Matthew Ridgway, Maxwell Taylor, and the American Airborne from D-Day through Normandy.

Before we get to Mitch, I want to tell you about two online programs we will be presenting on Constitution Day—which is Thursday, September 17.

At noon, in partnership with the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, we will present a discussion on “The Electoral College and the Constitution.” Panelists will include Congressman Jamie Raskin, Former Member of Congress Bob Goodlatte, and Georgetown professor of law Anthony Cook.

And then at 5 p.m., political savant and entertainment veteran Ben Sheehan will discuss his book, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say?: A Non-Boring Guide to How Our Democracy is Supposed to Work, an entertaining and accessible guide that explains what the Constitution actually lays out while putting it in modern-day English so that it can be understood. By the way, “OMG WTF” refers to Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Florida,” the name of the group Ben founded in 2018 to teach voters about executive races during the midterm elections.

You can view both of these programs on the National Archives YouTube channel. 

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D-Day—June 6, 1944—was the opening strike of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, during World War II. It was the culmination of the Allied powers’ strategy for the war and the beginning of a campaign of liberation to eliminate Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe. Thanks to the success at Normandy, Allied troops were able to lay the foundation for the final defeat of the Nazis the following spring.

The National Archives holds a multitude of records related to D-Day and its surrounding events. The records are in many formats—paper, photographs, film—and can be found in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and the National Archives at College Park. You can access many of these records by visiting the National Archives online catalog at catalog.archives.gov.

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Mitch Yockelson manages the National Archives and Records Administration Archival Recovery Program, where he leads investigations of thefts of historical documents and museum artifacts. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, Mitch is a professor of military history at Norwich University and the author of five books and numerous articles and reviews. Mitch regularly leads tours of the Normandy battlefields for the New York Times Journeys and Smithsonian Journeys and frequently lectures on military history.

And now, I’ll turn you over to Mitch Yockelson. Thank you for joining us today.