The Coldwell Banker Elite Lecture
His father won the Medal of Honor at Chickamauga, he spent his childhood as part of a military family in the Philippines, was an outstanding West Point graduate, then returned to the Philippines as a junior officer, commander of the 42nd “Rainbow” Division during the Great War, Superintendent of West Point in the early 1920s, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army in the early 1930s, then retirement to Manilla only to be recalled to active duty on the eve of America’s entry into World War II, Medal of Honor winner for his defense of the Philippines, Commander in Chief of the Southwest Pacific Theater in the war, ruler of Japan during the occupation, Commander in Chief of United Nations forces at the onset of the Korean War and then dismissed by his president – this was the remarkable career of Douglas MacArthur. Some historians consider him to be a Great Captain, the equal of Napoleon as a military commander, while others see him as a glory-seeking egotist who blackmailed his President to return to the Philippines, disparaged his peers and surrounded himself with lightweight sycophants. Hear the story of the man and one historian’s verdict.
Speaker: Porter Blakemore
Professor Blakemore has been teaching at Mary Washington since 1979 and will retire this coming May. A native Virginian from Newport News, he did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his doctorate from the University of Georgia. Following graduation from Chapel Hill he spent over four years on active duty as a Naval Officer and Aviator. Before Mr. Blakemore came to Mary Washington, he taught for two years at James Madison University and worked for one year as a research historian for the National Park Service. At Mary Washington he has taught many courses including Military History, European Diplomatic History, History of Germany, Western Civilization, Europe Since 1945 and two seminars on the Great War and Nazi Germany. Professor Blakemore took students to Europe on twenty-two occasions, twenty for a course titled European Capitals. His focus at Mary Washington has always been on his teaching, but his research interests have been on a German field marshal in World War II and an American sailor in the Great War. Mr. Blakemore has given two earlier talks for the Great Lives series, one on Otto von Bismarck and a second on George S. Patton, Jr.