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New Mexico State University

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Film inspired by Navajo Code Talkers to be presented

In conjunction with an Honors Program presentation of Navajo Code Talkers Roy Hawthorne and Sam Billison, New Mexico State University's Union Program Council will present a special showing of the film "Windtalkers" at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in the Corbett Center Auditorium.

ne and Billison will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in NMSU's Corbett Center Ballrooms as part of the University Speaker's Series, which brings prominent speakers to Las Cruces every year.

Many historians have said that the Navajo Code Talkers played a pivotal role in the U.S. victory in the pacific in World War II. Their native dialect was the basis for an extremely successful combat communications code used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Hawthorne and Billison will talk about the true-life experiences that inspired the movie "Windtalkers," starring Nicholas Cage and directed by John Woo.

The Navajo's unwritten language was understood outside the tribe by fewer than 30 non-Navajos at the time of WWII. The size and complexity of the language made the code extremely difficult to comprehend. Despite prior Japanese successes in code breaking, the Navajo code, transmitted only by Navajo Marines, defied them. The code remained secret until its declassification in 1968, more than two decades after the Allied victory.

The University Speaker's Series, presented by the Honors Program and the Office of the Provost, strives to bring to Las Cruces distinguished lecturers who will appeal to a broad community audience.

Both the film and the speech are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Honors Program at (505) 646-2005.