Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to main content

Professors in the department of history and political science at the University of Tennessee at Martin will take a new millennium look back at World War II with the Tom Elam Roundtable Symposium March 23 on campus.

-World War II at Home and Abroad- will serve as the theme for the day-long activities, which include several panel discussions and a dutch-treat luncheon in the Ed and Carolyn Boling University Center.

-We are lining up World War II veterans to share their experiences during the symposium with UT Martin students, faculty and the general public,- said Dr. Marvin Downing, organizer of this year-s Elam Roundtable Symposium.

-World War II was a time of unity in contrast to more recent military conflicts, sacrifice and service,- Downing said.

A special audio-visual presentation, during the day, will highlight local veterans. All Weakley County World War II veterans, their families and friends are encouraged to send a picture of the veteran; along with the dates of active duty; branch of service; unit; highest rank; and a list of medals and commendations earned to Susan Waterfield, Department of History and Political Science, Room 322 Andy Holt Humanities Building, UT Martin, Martin, Tenn. 38238.

Speakers for this year-s Elam Roundtable include:

-Bill Tanner, of Union City, the husband of UT Martin professor emeritus Doris Brinker Tanner, who saw combat with the Ninth Infantry Division throughout the war in the North Africa and European campaigns.

-Larry Cardwell, former UT Martin engineering professor, whose Army Air Corps bomber
was shot down over Yugoslavia. Partisans hid Cardwell for 18 months. He has corresponded and visited with those partisans through the years.

-Bill Blackwell president of Arrow Aluminum in Martin and former carrier pilot in the Atlantic.

-Charlie Brakebill former University of Tennessee vice president for development who was a senior in high school Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He entered UT-Knoxville as a student in the summer of 1942 and he will talk about the mood at UT-Knoxville and at Omaha Beach, where he arrived two months following D-Day (June 6, 1944).

-Gilbert Carp, UT Martin professor emeritus, who was trained as a Navy carrier pilot.

The Elam Roundtable will conclude with a special showing of Saving Private Ryan at 6:30 p.m. in the Boling University Center Auditorium. UT Martin history professor Dr. Dan McDonough will provide the background to the movie.

The Elam Roundtable Symposium were established by the late Col. Tom Elam in 1984.
Elam established the endowment fund to show just how much he treasured the past. The topic for the annual history symposium is to be determined by the chairman of the department of history and political science.

Tom Elam was born May 27, 1909, in Union City. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1931 and was the longest serving member of the UT board of trustees.

The first Tom Elam Symposium, April 10, 1985, explored two sides of Robert E. Lee. The program titled -Two Views of Robert E. Lee- was presented by Dr. Thomas Connelly, professor of history at the University of South Carolina and Dr. James Robertson, professor of history at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.