Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spam, M&M's, Glen Miller and P-38s

There were no books at the October 18 meeting of the NJ World War II Book Club, but there were all kinds of objects, courtesy of Dr. Solvay and the Sullivan Museum and History Center of Norwich University. The objects are part of an exhibit that focused on the stories and remembrances of Norwich University students and alums who had served during World War II. And those memories included canned SPAM (which for the present generation is more nuisance than nutrition), M&Ms, those wonderful candies that melt in your mouth, NOT in your rifle-holding hand and that marvelous music and touching songs that served as love letters to both those at home and abroad. Soldiers remembered "the Army's greatest invention" - the P-38 can opener which not only opened those ubiquitous cans of Spam, but also was put to multiple inventive uses by American soldiers all over the world.

Dr. Solvay's presentation was filled with marvelous anecdotes, noting how digital recorders were sent out through the mail to facilitate the collection and preservation of memories that might soon be lost forever. Dr. Solvay also exhibited posters of Norman Rockwell's "Four Freedoms," which were used to sell war bonds, raising over $130,000,000!

Pictures from the meeting will soon be available on our new Flickr gallery, thanks to Sharon Ann Austin and we look forward to the posting of the video from the event, recorded by Nancy Webster.
-- Marie Somers

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