Ferris State Phi Alpha Theta History Society hosts “This Week in History” featuring veterans panels, World War Two posters and presentations on wartime historical perspectives.
“We are doing this week in history to honor veterans not just from World War II, although that is our focus, but to honor all veterans for their service,” said Ferris history senior Megan Brown. “They fought for our freedom and we would not be where we are today without them. I think students would benefit from coming to these events and learning from the veterans personal history and would be able to appreciate them more. We are presenting aspects of World War II from a global perspective which can help educate students on different areas of history.”
1). “Keeping the Home Fires Burning: the Women’s Institute in Great Britain during World War Two”
Dr. Jana Pisani will be speaking about the Women’s Institute founded in Great Britain during World War One and their role in British society during World War Two. Dr. Pisani’s areas of expertise are medieval and early modern British history. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. Dr. Pisani will be speaking at 3 p.m. in room 203 of the University Center.
2.) “It Was Her War Too: Comparing the Soviet and American Experience in World War Two”
Women in the United States and Russia played important and vital roles in the war efforts during World War Two. Dr. Tracy Busch’s presentation will be focused on reclaiming this history for women which has been obscured and forgotten over time. Dr. Busch’s areas of expertise include Russian history, world history and global women’s issues. She is a graduate of Vassar College and earned her Ph.D. from Georgetown University. Dr. Busch will be speaking at 4:30 p.m. in room 203 of the University Center.
3). “Celebrating Women”
Phi Alpha Theta will be hosting a women’s veterans panel, providing an opportunity to hear the stories of women who served in America’s wars from World War Two and ask questions. Celebrating Women starts at 6 p.m. in room 203 of the University Center.
1). “On the Homefront”
Dr. Gary Huey will be examining American culture during World War Two. How the American public lent itself to supporting the war effort, sacrificing resources to the war, and even taking a look at those who benefited and profited from the war. Dr. Huey’s areas of expertise include U.S. history during the 20th century, sports history and military history. He graduated from Bradley University and earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University. Dr. Huey will be speaking at 3 p.m. in room 203 of the University Center.
2). “World War Two Veterans Panel”
Phi Alpha Theta is hosting the men’s panel of World War Two veterans. They will be telling their stories of their service and answering questions. The World War Two Veterans Panel starts at 5 p.m. in room 202B of the University Center.
1). “The President’s Military Breakfast”
Sponsored by the Ferris President’s Department and Enrollment Services, breakfast will be available to students, faculty, and staff that have served in the military. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. in room 202 of the University Center.
2). “The African-American Experience of World War One”
The “Harlem Hellfigters” were some of the most courageous soldiers of World War One. Most of the enlisted men were from New York of the U.S. Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment. These Soldiers were among the first to cross the Rhine River and push into Germany. Dr. Kimn Carlton-Smith is presenting. She’s a graduate of the University of North Carolina and earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Dr. Carlton-Smith’s areas of expertise include U.S. social and cultural history with an emphasis on art and African-American experiences. Dr. Carlton-Smith will be speaking at 3 p.m. in room 203 of the University Center.
3).“Art in the Film: The Monuments Men”
Dr. Rachel Foulk will be presenting a look at the art in the film The Monuments Men. The art was stolen by the Nazis from all over Europe to be held in the Fuhrer’s Museum in Berlin. Dr. Foulk will be presenting at 6 p.m. in room 120 of the Interdisciplinary Resource Center.
1). “Art in Action: On the Use of Poster Propaganda in War Time”
Presented by Dr. Pasquale Di Raddo. Dr. Di Raddo’s presentation begins at 11 a.m. in room 205B in the University Center.
2). “Tough Choices: The Road to Pearl Harbor and the U.S. Atomic Bombing of Japan”
Dr. Christian Peterson’s presentation will address these two questions: Was the U.S.-Japanese War in the Pacific avoidable? Was the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan justified? Dr. Christianson begins his presentation at 3 p.m. in room 203 of the University Center.
3). “Art in Action: On the Use of Poster Propaganda in War Time”
Presented by Dr. Pasquale Di Raddo. Dr. Di Raddo’s second presentation begins at 5 p.m. in room 205B in the University Center.
1) “World War Two Movie Showcase: Truth or Fiction?”
Three films will be showing throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. in room 202C of the University Center. The films are as follows:
10 a.m. – The Pianist
1 p.m. – The Brest Fortress
4 p.m. – Fury
After each movie there will be an opportunity for discussion. Dr. Tracy Busch and Dr. Gary Huey will be offering explanations of how Hollywood often misrepresents historical fact in movies.
2). “1940’s Decade Dance”
Phi Alpha Theta is hosting the 1940’s Decade Dance at 7 p.m. at the Sawmill Saloon, 1003 Maple St. in Big Rapids.
Here’s the Buzz—So don’t be a Cold-fish,
Deck yourself out—Maybe meet a new Dish,
Let’s Jitterbug—And do the Liddy-Hop,
Just don’t Bender—Cause you’ll meet a Big Rapids Cop.
– Kimberly Drake, Ferris history senior and Phi Alpha Theta resident historian.