WWII historian Larry Martin will discuss the tragic story of the USS Indianapolis. In July 1945, the Indianapolis was on a secret mission to Tinian Island to deliver components of the atomic bomb -- the same bomb dropped on Hiroshima a few weeks later, leading to the end of WWII. After delivering the secret cargo, the Indianapolis was struck by a Japanese torpedo on July 30. The explosion caused the ship to sink within twelve minutes. Of the 1,200 men on board, 300 died when the ship sunk. The remaining men were forced into the shark-infested Philippine Sea. Hundreds perished from starvation, dehydration, salt poisoning, and shark attacks. The sinking of the USS Indianapolis was one of the worst naval disasters in history.
Larry’s interest in WWII history and his passion for gathering and sharing the stories of the men and women of the war sparked the creation of the "In Their Own Words" project. The project helps educate new generations about the fascinating and unique history of WWII and fosters an appreciation for the hardships endured by all war veterans. Over the past decade, Larry has interviewed over 75 WWII veterans and hosted over 50 programs at public libraries and other facilities across the country.
RHPL records Smart Towns programs (if presenters agree). Recordings are posted on the RHPL website (under UseTheLibrary/VideoLectures) two-four weeks after the presentation. For more Smart Towns programs around the community, visit smarttowns.rhpl.org.
Smart Towns is a lifelong learning series presented by area partners, including the Rochester Hills Public Library, Oakland University, Rochester University, the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, Meadow Brook Hall, and Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital. Smart Towns partners collaborate to offer a unique series of programs exploring one topic per year. Lectures and presentations feature experts in their respective fields of study. The theme for 2020 is “Events that Changed the World.” Various aspects of health care, including holistic health care, have had a profound and life-changing effect on people around the world.