NM Tech's Skeen Library Hosts Lecture and Exhibit Series, July 5, 2005

by Shawna Carter

SOCORRO, N.M. -- Teddy Draper, a World War II (WWII) Navajo Code Talker is scheduled to speak on Saturday, August 20, at 2 p.m. at New Mexico Tech's Joseph R. Skeen Library Tripp Conference Room.

During WWII, the Navajo language was used as a secret code to pass information between combat units. It was the only code the Japanese were unable to break.

Teddy Draper's speech will include information about Navajo code talking, as well as his own personal experiences in the field.

This year's exhibit at the Tech library, titled "Warriors: the Navajo Code Talkers," concentrates on the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II (WWII), as well as New Mexico's role in WWII. Historic photographs, equipment, and military paraphernalia are on display during regular library hours. The photos of the Code Talkers will be taken down on Aug. 21, but the remaining exhibits will stay through mid-November.

The lecture and exhibit series were created by the joint efforts of Skeen Library, The National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, and The Los Alamos Historical Museum.

The next scheduled lecture is by Jerry Schurtz, a historian with a special interest in New Mexico's role in WWII, on September 15 at 7 p.m. in the Tripp Room. On October 20, Skeen Library will hold discussion forums featuring veterans discussing their World War II experiences.

Lectures were held in July to open the exhibit and lecture series on World War II. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first atomic bomb explosion, the 50th anniversary of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Very Large Array (VLA).

For additional information about "Warriors: the Navajo Code Talkers," contact Leigh Davidson at 835.5766, or Dal Symes at 835.5615, or write to Leigh Davidson or Dal Symes, c/o Joseph R. Skeen Library, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Pl, Socorro, NM 87801.