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Third Thursday Program: “Letters from the Trunk”
June 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$5
Join us for this month’s Third Thursday Program, “Letters from the Trunk” on Thursday, June 20, 2019, 7pm at the Bristol Historical Society, 98 Summer Street.
The J.H. Sessions and Son. Co. was a longtime presence in Bristol’s manufacturing history. Established by John Humphrey Sessions in 1854, the business flourished until near the end of the 20th Century. Historian Bob Adamczyk will explore the influences of the Sessions family and their business on Bristol and beyond. A display of family photographs and vintage clothing add to the flavor of the stories. The J.H. Sessions and Son factory made significant contributions to the America’s military conflicts from WWI to the Korean War. Bristol men wrote home from faraway countries about seeing Sessions hardware on trunk lockers, chests, cases and shipping containers.
During World War II, the Sessions company made a commitment to the country’s effort to keep morale high between the home front and the troops. The president and workers exchanged correspondence with employees who were serving their country in the Armed Forces. Long lost letters from those perilous times were recently discovered and are now in the Bristol Historical Society collection. For this program, Carol Denehy, of the Memorial Military Museum, chose the letters of Robert Brault who was with Bristol’s National Guard when it was federalized in 1941. Mr. Brault’s letters are a mini-history of the illustrious 169th Regiment of the 43rd Division (“Winged Victory”), and we follow the men from training through combat years in the South Pacific under the command of General Douglas McArthur.
Veterans Dick Fitz, Joe Christophero, Bob Barnett, Ed Little and Bob Montgomery will read excerpts from the “Letters From the Trunk.” WWII censorship prevented Mr. Brault from divulging specific locations and details of battle. However, artifacts and memorabilia from those island battles will be shown to illuminate the wartime experiences of Mr. Brault and the 169th Infantry. Most of the items were donated after the war by those men who served in the 169th. Join us to see how the letters and the historic items continue to preserve their stories and honor their memories today.