Mesa Public Library (MPL) will be presenting its second program this month in collaboration with the New Mexico Humanities Council.
The program, Chester Nez: WWII Navajo Code Talker, will take place 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at Fuller Lodge. Anyone interested in attending may do so either in person or online via Zoom livestream. This program is free and open to the public; visit the library’s event calendar for more information.
Judith Avila, co-writer of Chester Nez’s memoir, will discuss his life and work. Although 420 Navajo code talkers served in the Marines during World War II, none had written memoirs until Nez’s 2012 autobiography Code Talker. It remains the only memoir ever written by one of the original 29 Navajo code talkers and was the winner of the New Mexico Press Women’s Zia Award and the New Mexico/Arizona Book award. It was also widely recognized in the media by outlets such as C-SPAN (among others) and was read in its entirety on NPR.
Chester Nez (1921-2014) volunteered as a Marine during WWII despite the fact that the U.S. government prevented Navajos and other Indigenous peoples from voting. He went on to become one of the men who developed the famed Navajo Code and took it into battle against the Japanese. It is the only unbroken spoken code in modern warfare. His life demonstrated how diversity augments the strength of a nation.
This program is supported by the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries.
For more information or for help registering for the program, call 505.662.8257.