Published Date

December 28, 1943

Resource Type

GI Roundtable Series, Primary Source

Mr. Theodore C. Blegen reported on the work of the Historical Service Board. This Board was established as a result of action taken by the Executive Committee on September 2, 1943, in response to a request by the Secretary of War that the Association should assume responsibility for the preparation of pamphlets on significant current problems for the War Department’s educational program—specifically for soldier discussion groups.

The Board consists of the following ten members: Shepard B. Clough, Robert E. Cushman, Guy Stanton Ford, Dixon Ryan Fox, Waldo G. Leland, Edwin G. Nourse, J. Salwyn Schapiro, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Robert R. Wilson, and Donald Young. At a Board meeting held on November 27, Mr. Ford was chosen chairman.

The work of the Board was begun October 1, under the directorship of Mr. Blegen. The War Department submitted some two dozen questions resulting from a sampling of soldier interest in camps in the United States and abroad. These fell into four main groups: our allies, international affairs, national affairs, and community and personal problems. The task assumed by the Board was to prepare factual materials for these questions in the form of pamphlets to serve as the basis for “G. I. Roundtables.” The completed pamphlets are to be supplied to the camps through orientation officers. Every effort is being made, with the co-operation of scholars in many fields, to prepare materials that are factual, impartial, adequate, and interesting. Two members of the Board serve as referees for each manuscript. The series will include a guide for discussion leaders.

Mr. Blegen reported that some twenty pamphlets were in course of preparation. Ten had been received and were in various stages of editing, rewriting, revision and criticism. Two had already been submitted to the War Department. The Association is under contract to furnish the manuscripts at an average rate of three per month after December 3.