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World War II letters to be read

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the New Mexico State University Library will present a reading of letters from NMSU students who served in the Pacific theater in the 1940s as soldiers and nurses.


gram will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, on the fourth floor of Branson Library during NMSU's Homecoming weekend. The reading is free and open to the public. The letters will be read by NMSU students and faculty members, and a local ensemble will play 1940s music.

The title of the presentation, "The Whole Damned World: Aggies in the Pacific, 1941-1945," is based on a poem by Jim Carson published in 1944 in the college literary magazine The Rio Grande Writer. Like many of his fellow Aggies, Carson sat on a beachhead underneath palm trees "somewhere in the Pacific" and longed for the mesas and mountains of New Mexico.

The letters, preserved in the Library's University Archives, were written to Daniel B. "Dad" Jett, then dean of the school of engineering. Jett carried on a personal correspondence with hundreds of former students during World War II. These letters provide indelible insights into the lives of young men and women involved in world events. The letters reveal nostalgia for the college infused with hope for returning to the school when the war ended.

The program is sponsored by the Library's Archives and Special Collections Department. For more information contact Martha Andrews at (505) 646-5028 or the Archives staff at (505) 646-3839.