Brown Bag talks code

Lisa BellemanArts 865, Feature

The next Brown Bag Lecture will be noon Wednesday, Aug. 22, at East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street. Pat Gang will discuss “To Transmit in Perfect Safety: The Cherokee Code Talkers in World War I”


While the term “Code Talkers” is often associated with World War II, the story actually begins in WWI, when to avoid German deciphering of messages, the U.S. military employed Native Americans fluent in both their native language and English, to send secret messages in battle. The first known use of Native Americans in the American military to transmit messages under fire was a group of Cherokee troops under the American 30th Infantry Division serving alongside the British during the during the Second Battle of the Somme in the World War I in September 1918.

A student of military history, Pat Gang holds a bachelor’s degree in history and is the founder of “Keeping Your Stories Alive,” a local concern specializing in veteran’s histories, and the author of the book It Was a Two Egg Mission, recounting an incident during the 8th Air Force bombing campaign against Germany in WWII.

The lecture is sponsored by the Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel and Crematory and is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available. Info: 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.

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