Meet WWII Hero Jim “Pee Wee” Martin

Boone County Public Library is honored to bring WWII Hero Jim “Pee Wee” Martin to Boone County to share his story with us on Saturday, September 23 at 1 p.m. at Florence Baptist Church, 642 Mt. Zion Road in Florence.

Martin was part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted onto the beach near Normandy in an effort to retake France and the rest of Europe from Nazi Germany. His unit actually touched down in enemy territory the night before D-Day, on June 5, 1944. Martin and his fellow paratroopers fought for 43 days at Normandy before they moved on to invade Holland, fight at the Battle of the Bulge and assist with the takeover of Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s fortress in the German Alps.

At the age of 93, Pee Wee Martin once again jumped out of a plane over Normandy; this time to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Many of Martin’s experiences with the 101st Airborne Division were included in the popular HBO mini-series, Band of Brothers.

This event is presented by Boone County Public Library and co-sponsored by Simon Kenton Sons of the American Revolution, Boone County Daughters of the American Revolution, Florence Baptist Church and Martin’s Manager, Doug Barber.

Meet WWII Hero Jim “Pee Wee” Martin
Saturday, September 23 at 1 p.m.

Florence Baptist Church, 642 Mt. Zion Road in Florence

Local History Department Bus Tour added to National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Program

Boone County Public Library’s Local History Department Bus Tour has been added to National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program

Boone County Public Library is proud to announce the Local History Department’s inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Library’s bus tour will be included on the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom website at www.nps.gov/ugrr. Additionally, the library’s Local History Department has been accepted into the program as an Underground Railroad research facility, joining over 100 facilities, sites and programs across 25 states, including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to Diane Miller, National Program Manager for National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, “We found that it (Local History’s Underground Railroad Bus Tour) makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the Underground Railroad in American history.”

In recent years, the Library’s Local History Department has dedicated itself to uncovering Boone County’s role in the Underground Railroad.  Long-forgotten stories of enslavement and freedom, involving the county and the surrounding region, have emerged and are being offered to the public in the form of programs, tours and research materials. Each year, the Local History Department offers Underground Railroad bus tours through Boone County, revealing the experiences of those once enslaved in the county, and their quests for freedom from bondage.

BCPL Local History Dept, L to R: Rosie Carpenter, Robin Edwards, Bridget Striker, Kaitlin Barber, Hillary Delaney

The library’s next Underground Railroad Boone County bus tour will be offered on Wednesday, September 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is a $40 fee to cover the cost of the bus and lunch. Registration is required and opens August 14.

Join us to celebrate Boone County Public Library’s inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom with a reception at the Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington on September 19, at 6:30 p.m.  Following the reception, there will be a presentation of “The Barkshire and Hawkins Families of Rising Sun, Indiana; A Borderlands Story” at 7 p.m.  In 1836, newly-freed Samuel Barkshire and his family left enslavement behind in Boone County, moving across the Ohio River to Rising Sun, Indiana.  Once there, they played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad, with the help of Nancy Hawkins, their one-time slaveholder.