Tuesday, 30 May 2023 11:22

History on Tap Features United Nations Week 1943 in Oswego

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Allied military personnel in the 1943 United Nations Week Parade in Oswego. Allied military personnel in the 1943 United Nations Week Parade in Oswego. Marjorie Collins, OWI photographer, National Archives photo

Fort Ontario State Historic Site presents the next “History on Tap” event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7 in the Riverview Room at G. S. Steamer’s Restaurant in the Clarion Hotel, 70 E. First St., Oswego.

Audience members are invited to arrive early and purchase refreshments to enjoy during the program. Admission is free.

Enjoy an illustrated presentation on how the city of Oswego celebrated United Nation’s Week in 1943, including the 13-minute U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) film of the week’s activities. Fort Ontario’s Marilyn Huntington and Paul Lear will join Oswego City Historian Mark Slosek to lead the presentation. Slosek will also discuss the 80th anniversary United Nations Week commemorative activities being planned by the city of Oswego.

Over 100 still photographs and other materials will be shown at the event, including information about Oswego’s 1943 economy along with its history and contributions to the war effort. These materials also depict decorations and other preparations made for a group of visiting officers and soldiers from Allied military organizations, a parade held in their honor, trips to factories, a formal welcome given by Oswego Mayor John Scanlon and many informal activities conducted with residents including living, eating and talking with them in their homes.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested a nationwide effort to celebrate Flag Day and United Nations Week on Sunday and Monday, June 13 and 14, 1943. After winning a survey contest of American cities with special attributes such as defense industries, a strong historical background and others, Oswego held a week-long celebration by special arrangement with the OWI in honor of the United Nations joining the fight against the Axis powers during World War II.

The 1943 event and film featured the city of Oswego as a typical American city of 20,000 to 25,000 people. From June 13 to 19, 1943, the United Nations was celebrated with prayer, pageantry and solemn resolve. The city opened its churches, schools, factories and homes to people from various backgrounds in a community-organized effort to get to know American Allies as neighbors.

For more information about “History on Tap,” contact Paul Lear at 315-343-4711 or [email protected]. Updates and program information will be posted on the Friends of Fort Ontario Facebook page.

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