The Archer Public Library was used by nine hundred and forty-seven patrons during the week of June 3rd – June 7th. Six hundred and seventy-four books and three hundred and fifty-eight videos were checked out during the week.
Thank you to Sherry Wheeler Smajstrla for her donation in memory of Pat Buerger.
Also, thank you to The Archer City Writers Workshop and the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation – Royal C. “Bingo” Kinder Advised Fund for donating all six books featured in Monday night’s event “From the Past to the Page”. The books are available for check-out to all library card holders.
Like most Americans at the time, Plennie Wingo was hit hard by the effects of the Great Depression. When the bank foreclosed on his small restaurant in Abilene, he found himself suddenly penniless with nowhere left to turn. After months of struggling to feed his family on wages he earned digging ditches in the Texas sun, Plennie decided it was time to do something extraordinary -- something to resurrect the spirit of adventure and optimism he felt he'd lost. He decided to walk around the world -- backwards.
In The Man Who Walked Backward, Pulitzer Prize finalist Ben Montgomery charts Plennie's backwards trek across the America that gave rise to Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, and the New Deal. With the Dust Bowl and Great Depression as a backdrop, Montgomery follows Plennie across the Atlantic through Germany, Turkey, and beyond, and details the daring physical feats, grueling hardships, comical misadventures, and hostile foreign police he encountered along the way. A remarkable and quirky slice of Americana, “The Man Who Walked Backward” paints a rich and vibrant portrait of a jaw-dropping period of history.
Check out The Man Who Walked Backward: An American Dreamer's Search for Meaning in the Great Depression by Ben Montgomery at the Archer Public Library
Before World War II, Manila was a slice of America in Asia, populated with elegant neoclassical buildings, spacious parks, and home to thousands of U.S. servicemen and business executives who enjoyed the relaxed pace of the tropics. The outbreak of the war, however, brought an end to the good life. General Douglas MacArthur, hoping to protect the Pearl of the Orient, declared the Philippine capital an open city and evacuated his forces. The Japanese seized Manila on January 2, 1942, rounding up and interning thousands of Americans.
MacArthur, who escaped soon after to Australia, famously vowed to return. For nearly three years, he clawed his way north, obsessed with redeeming his promise and turning his earlier defeat into victory. By early 1945, he prepared to liberate Manila, a city whose residents by then faced widespread starvation. Convinced the Japanese would abandon the city as he did, MacArthur planned a victory parade down Dewey Boulevard. But the enemy had other plans. Determined to fight to the death, Japanese marines barricaded intersections, converted buildings into fortresses, and booby-trapped stores, graveyards, and even dead bodies.
The twenty-nine-day battle to liberate Manila resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the civilian population. Landmarks were demolished, houses were torched, suspected resistance fighters were tortured and killed, countless women were raped, and their husbands and children were murdered. American troops had no choice but to battle the enemy, floor by floor and even room by room, through schools, hospitals, and even sports stadiums. In the end, an estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in a massacre as heinous as the Rape of Nanking.
Based on extensive research in the United States and the Philippines, including war-crimes testimony, after-action reports, and survivor interviews, Rampage recounts one of the most heartbreaking chapters of Pacific War history.
Check out Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila by James M. Scott at the Archer Public Library