Declassified WWII photos now on exhibit

Posted on Jun 04 2019

For the first time in 75 years, the public is invited to view a historic multimedia exhibit showcasing the Marianas peoples in the summer of 1944 during the Battles of Saipan and Tinian.

After the war, many of the World War II images from the U.S. military were filed away as classified, never to be seen by the public eye.

Now the Northern Marianas Humanities Council invites to public to attend the 75th Anniversaries of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian Multimedia Exhibit from June 12 to July 14 at the NMI Museum of History and Culture and at the American Memorial Park.

The 30 photographs will be displayed at the NMI Museum and the films, a combination of the original footage as well as Witnesses to War, will be shown at the American Memorial Park. At a later date, the exhibit will travel to Tinian and Rota.

This stunning and heart-wrenching exhibit that commemorates the resilience of the Marianas people tells an almost complete story of what the elders had to endure during the summer of 1944 through the photos and footage and then retelling it in 1996 in the documentary Witnesses to War.  The exhibit tells of the Marianas people’s experiences and their ability to endure unfathomable hardships and overcome them to keep love, faith and family alive.

The images were taken by the U.S. Marine Corps and Army Signal Corps camera operators who were ordered to take photographs and footage during the Battles of Saipan and Tinian. The images were created by the Department of the Navy and Department of the Army and were classified or restricted for decades until they became publicly available in the National Archive Research Administration in College Park Maryland. The NARA is the institution responsible for keeping and preserving federal government records, including images produced by federal military departments. (PR)

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