This book is a product of "Lest We Forget," a Public Humanities Project commemorating the 50th anniversary of America's entry into World War II, held in the Rochester ( New York) area between October 1991 and December 1992. It was funded by a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and sponsored by the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Brockport. It included a public lecture series hosted by Rochester's Strong Museum, a combined museum exhibit involving the Strong and several other cooperating institutions, a film festival hosted by the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, and a series of three academic symposia hosted by the College at Brockport. The chapters presented herein represent the editors' choice of the more compelling of those papers, consistent with the theme of the volume.
"Lest We Forget" was made possible through the collaboration of several dozen individuals and institutions. We are indebted first and foremost to the NEH, which provided both support for the project itself and for a critical planning conference in early 1990, without which the rest of the project might never have taken off. We--and the readers of this volume--have a debt of gratitude to Wilsonia Cherry, Senior Program Officer at the NEH, who provided help and counsel throughout the entire three-year period of planning and implementation.
Four nationally known scholars-- D'Ann Campbell, Walter LaFeber, Leo Ribuffo, and Melvin Small--took time off from their crowded academic schedules to act as consultants, advisers, and contributors to the entire project. Rollie Adams, President and chief executive officer of the Strong Museum, was involved with the planning virtually from the start and was most generous in his encouragement and overall support. So too was John Van de Wetering, President of the SUNY College at Brockport, who offered encouragement when the project was but a gleam in our eyes. Our colleague Joan Shelley Rubin did a superb job in coordinating the combined museum exhibits, as did Carolyn Vacca, the Deputy County Historian, who shared in every step of the planning