Press Release
Press Release · Sunday, May 1, 1960

Press Release
May 30, 2002
U.S. Air Force History Featured in National Archives Lecture Series in July and August 2002

Washington, DC . . . In July and August, the National Archives and Records Administration presents a series of lectures relating to US Air Force History, Civil Rights, and the Civil War. Also a day-long symposium will be featured in August where authors, archivists, and military historians will gather to discuss recent books and articles relating to World War I records housed at the National Archives.

The programs are free and open to the public and will take place in Room 105 at the National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Due to limited seating in Room 105 of the National Archives Building, reservations are recommended, call (202) 208-7345. The public may verify times and dates by calling the National Archives public events line at (202) 501-5000. TDD users may call (202) 501-5404.


Tuesday, July 9 - Civil Rights
Richard Leonard will discuss his book, Call to Selma: Eighteen Days of Witness. In 1965, Mr. Leonard answered Dr. Martin Luther King's appeal to clergy to come to Selma, Alabama, and assist the protesters in their demand for voting rights. Mr. Leonard's journal forms the core of this book, and includes first-hand accounts of more that two dozen Unitarians. Leonard is minister emeritus of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City. Noon.

Tuesday, July 9 - Military Legislation
James Locher will discuss his book, Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon. Mr. Locher discusses the bitter political conflict to produce this legislation as the struggle lasted four years and 241 days -- a period longer than American involvement in World War II -- and pitted Congress against Pentagon elements determined to maintain excessive clout and independence for the four services. Mr. Locher examines military operations from Pearl Harbor to the 1983 Grenada incursion and identifies the organizational causes of operational setbacks and failures. James Locher is the former assistant secretary of defense (1989-93) and staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee (1978-89). 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 24 - Civil War
Brian Dirck will discuss his book, Lincoln & Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865. Both Lincoln and Davis remain locked in the American psyche as iconic symbols of victory and defeat in the American Civil War. Mr. Dirck examines Lincoln's and Davis's respective ideas concerning national identity, highlighting the strengths and shortcomings of each leader's worldview. He analyzes how their everyday lives--the influence of fathers and friends, jobs and homes--worked in complex ways to shape Lincoln's and Davis's perceptions of what the American nation was supposed to be and could become and how those images could reject or accommodate the institution of slavery. Noon.

Thursday, July 25 - Aviation
David Toomey will discuss his book, Stormchasers: The Hurricane Hunters and Their Fateful Flight into Hurricane Janet. In the wake of World War II, the Air Force and the Navy had discovered a new civilian arena where daring pilots could test their courage and skill. In September 1955, Navy Lieutenant Commander Grover B. Windham and a crew of eight flew out of Guantanamo Bay into the eye of Hurricane Janet swirling in the Caribbean: a routine weather reconnaissance mission from which they never returned. These "Hurricane Hunters" flew into raging storms to gauge their strength and predict their paths. Noon.

Tuesday, July 30 -USAF Lecture Series
Francis Gary Powers, Jr., founder of the Cold War Museum, will talk about the U-2 incident of May 1, 1960. His father, Pilot F. Gary Powers survived the crash to be tried in the Soviet Union as a spy, convicted to imprisonment, swapped for Soviet spy, and returned to the US in February 1962. Mr. Powers will also talk about the Cold War Museum, which preserves Cold War history and honor Cold War Veterans. 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 31 - USAF Lecture Series
R. Cargill Hall will discuss "Early Cold War Overflights of the Sino-Soviet Bloc." Based in part on his book, United States Air Force in Space, 1945 to the Twenty-First Century: Proceedings, Air Force Historical Foundation Symposium, Mr. Hall examines the pre U-2 missions that employed military reconnaissance aircraft between 1950 and 1956, when Eisenhower terminated the program. Noon.


Thursday, August 1 - USAF Lecture Series
Dr. Richard P. Hallion, Air Force Historian and author of Air Power Confronts An Unstable World, will discuss "Air Power in the 20th Century and Beyond." Dr. Hallion has flown a range of military and civilian fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and is the author of more than 20 books relating to aerospace history. Noon.

Tuesday, August 6 -World War I Symposium
The National Archives presents a day-long symposium about the First World War. Titled "The Guns of August Revisited," authors, archivists, and military historians will gather to discuss recent books and articles relating to records housed at the National Archives relating to World War I. Speakers include Nancy Gentile-Ford, author of Americans All: Foreign Born Soldiers in World War I; James Cooke, author of Billy Mitchell; Lee Kennett, author of First Air War, 1914-1918; Jennifer Keene, author of Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America; and Doug Johnson author of Soissons 1918. They will be joined by archivists Mitch Yockelson and Tim Nenninger, and other guest speakers. For the schedule of events and more information, please call (202) 208-7345 or visit the online calendar of events at

Wednesday, August 7 - USAF Lecture Series
Chief Master Sergeant Ron Dandeneau USAF (Ret.) will discuss "Rustic Air Operations in Cambodia during the Vietnam War". Beginning in June 1970, the White House ordered top-secret, round-the-clock air support over Cambodia, and US forward air controllers provided twenty-four-hour air support to the Cambodian ground commanders by flying low and slow over enemy positions. Sitting in the back seat of the OV-10 aircraft, Chief Dandeneau's proficiency with the French language allowed him to act as interpreter between the American pilots and the Cambodian Army field commanders. Noon.

Thursday, August 8 - USAF Lecture Series
Lieutenant Colonel Donald S. Lopez, USAF (Ret.) Will talk about flight testing at Eglin Air Force Base and the first military jets. Based on his latest book, Fighter Pilot's Heaven: Flight Testing the Early Jets, he presents the inside story of the American military's transition into the jet age, as told by a flyer whose life depended on its success. Lieutenant Colonel Lopez is the deputy director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and a former pilot with the 23rd Flying Tiger Fighter Group in China. Noon.

Thursday, August 8 - USAF Lecture Series/Oral History
Chief Master Sergeant James Clemenson will discuss how he became and why he is an Air National Guard Chief. Chief Clemenson will share his experiences from over 32 years of service in the United States Air Force. 7 p.m.

Tuesday, August 13 - USAF Lecture Series
Greg Touma and John Ware will discuss US humanitarian airlifts to the Afghan mujahadeen freedom fighters 1986-1990. Mr. Ware participated in the logistics and planning of these airlifts, as he validated over 100 Special Assignment Airlift Missions (SAAM). Mr. Touma served aboard one dozen flights and provides firsthand accounts from the forward areas. Noon.

Wednesday, August 14 - USAF Lecture Series
Chief Master Sergeant Larry Parthum USAF (Ret.) Will discuss "The Development of Air Force Enlisted Corps," based on his experiences in the United States Air Force. Chief Parthum served eleven years as an officer, working beside those who were present at the creation of the Air Force by the National Security Act of 1947 and the second generation of Air Force personnel. After a reduction in force, he served in the enlisted ranks for nineteen years and became the only known prior officer to reach the top enlisted rank, Chief Master Sergeant. Noon.

Thursday, August 15 - USAF Lecture Series /Oral History
Colonel Greg Bailey, USAF (Ret.), Will compare and contrast combat aviation between the Vietnam War to the Persian Gulf War. Describing what each time period was like, and weaving humor with historical anecdotes and first person perspective, Colonel Bailey will recount his combat experiences as a captain flying RF-4 jets in Vietnam (1971 -2) - when he felt "young and bulletproof" - to his role as a Colonel flying F-111's in the Gulf War. 7 p.m.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Events Line at: 202-501-5000, or visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at


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