City of Fullerton
Public Information Office

303 W. Commonwealth
Fullerton, CA 92832
Phone: (714) 738-6317


Subject :

Memories of World War II: Speaker Series in March 2014
Contact :Fullerton Museum    (714) 738-6545
Fullerton City Manager’s Office    (714) 738-6317
Fullerton, CA – The Fullerton Museum is proud to present the Memories of World War II Speaker Series, during the month of March in conjunction with the current photographs from the archives of The Associated Press (AP) that are on display through April 13, 2014. The speaker series, starting on March 8, includes:

Coming Home
Saturday, March 8, 2:00 p.m.

Veterans from WWII, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, the Cold War, and the Global War on Terror discuss their experiences returning to civilian life. This moderated panel discussion, organized by the Fullerton Museum Center and the American Legion Post 142 will be held in the museum auditorium. Admission is free with regular museum admission.

Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany
Saturday, March 22, 2:00 p.m.

9 year old Eleanor Ramrath Garner was on a ship in the mid Atlantic when war broke out. Unable to return to the United States, she and her family spent the entire war in Germany. Her bestselling memoir is a story of trying to maintain stability, hope, and identity in a world full of terror and contrasts. A popular elementary and middle school speaker, Mrs. Garner will be signing copies of her book, and talking about her wartime experiences and lessons they hold for young people today.

Life Aboard a Pacific Battleship
Saturday, March 29, 2:00 p.m.

The U.S.S. Iowa, now berthed in San Pedro and open to the public as the Pacific Battleship Center, saw combat in the South Pacific and transported President Roosevelt to the Tehran Conference in 1943. U.S. Navy Veteran David Canfield joined by curator David Way, will present on the day to day experience of a crew member aboard the fabled ship during different phases of her career.

All the Speaker Series events are free with regular museum admissions.

The AP exhibit is a spectrum of photos from all theaters of the war and the home front, ranging from AP photographer Joe Rosenthal’s classic Iwo Jima flag raising in 1945 to scores of pictures not seen in decades.

Founded in 1848, the AP is the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering organization, serving some 15,000 media outlets in more than 120 countries.

In the exhibit, familiar scenes of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, along with British and American troops hitting Normandy beaches on D-Day and marching through newly liberated Paris, are juxtaposed with hidden surprises sure to evoke strong memories among older Americans. There are photographs of Hitler and Mussolini at the peak of fascist power, Winston Churchill in unmistakable silhouette, actor James Stewart being inducted into the military, Nazi SS troops herding defiant Jews after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943, and Russian women laying flowers at the feet of four dead GIs who helped liberate them from a slave labor camp. Despite censorship that delayed the release of pictures and restricted caption information, the wartime cameras recorded dramatic close-ups of power and pathos, the leaders and the lost. President Franklin Roosevelt, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Churchill sit for a group portrait at Tehran. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth clamber through London bomb rubble. Gen. Douglas McArthur wades ashore in the Philippines.  In Cherbourg, France, Army Capt. Earl Topley gazes at a German soldier sitting dead in a doorway. Dead Japanese soldiers lie half-buried in sand on a Guadalcanal beach; dead U.S. Marines sprawl in the volcanic ash of Iwo Jima.

Many photos credit AP staff photographers by name; others came from anonymous Army or Navy photographers. Some were killed in combat; others went on to postwar prominence in their craft.  "You had the same fears as the GIs, but you had to think about the picture," says retired AP photojournalist Max Desfor, who covered the battle of Okinawa and Japan’s surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri, and later won a Pulitzer Prize in Korea. "My camera was my shield, and I didn’t even think about the idea that a bullet might hit me."

The showing here at the Fullerton Museum is part of national tour that began in 2005. The exhibition of photographic reproductions from the Associated Press has traveled to more than 20 museums and will continue to travel through 2014. The tour was developed and managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, an exhibition tour development company in Kansas City, Missouri. 

For more information about the Speaker Series or for this exhibit, please contact the Fullerton Museum at (714) 738-6545 or visit