Virtual Valley Talks, a series of free virtual historical lectures by the Museum of Work & Culture, continues on Wednesday, May 20 at 4pm when writer and Providence College Professor Emeritus Norman Desmarais presents insights from his co-authored book Untold Stories from World War II Rhode Island.
Desmarais will explore lesser-known, or even ignored, sites like fire control stations, observation posts and coastal defenses, such as coastal batteries, anti aircraft gun emplacements, anti submarine nets, and harbor control stations. It will also consider some innovations developed in the state like Quonset huts, pontoons, and floating airfields. He will also discuss Rhode Island’s secret spy station, the site of which was considered as a possible location for the United Nations, and some of Woonsocket’s mills which demonstrate a microcosm of the state economy.
Register to receive an invitation to this Zoom event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Desmarais lives in Lincoln and was acquisitions librarian at Providence College before retiring in 2010 with the rank of professor emeritus. He authored The Guide to the American Revolutionary War (6-volumes) and The Guide to the American Revolutionary War at Sea and Overseas (7-volumes) which cover more than 14,500 actions. He has also translated the Gazette Françoise, the French newspaper published in Newport, RI by the French fleet that brought the Count de Rochambeau and 5,800 French troops to America in July 1780. It is the first known service newspaper published by an expeditionary force. His latest book, America’s First Ally: France in the Revolutionary War, is a comprehensive look at how France inﬂuenced the American War of Independence in a variety of ways. He also co-authored Untold Stories from World War II Rhode Island.