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The Guadalcanal Campaign 1942-43: A Defining Moment in American History

National Archives Museum

Thursday, February 23, 2023 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST

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The Guadalcanal Campaign, a decisive point in the Pacific Theater of World War II, was fought between August 7, 1942, and February 9, 1943. The United States and Japanese armed forces traded savage blows in a bitter struggle with staggering losses. The prospects for ultimate American victory for control of the island reached a nadir of doubt in mid-campaign and triggered changes in the amount of candid information provided the public to prepare them for defeat. Both from its inception and through its course, Guadalcanal figured in the global calculus of the war. Adm. William F. (Bull) Halsey put it this way: “Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure—after Guadalcanal he retreated at ours.” Richard Frank, noted author and historian of the campaign; Michael Morris, United States Marine Corps historian; and Allen Knechtmann, archivist at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center, will discuss the details of the campaign from various perspectives, from planning at the Army War College for “War Plan Orange,” to the efforts of the forces and overall history. The discussion will be moderated by Jeff Hawks, Education Director at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center.


All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.