George Wiley, a retired professor at IUP who compiled “An Illustrated History of Indiana County, Pennsylvania, During World War II,” was the featured speaker Wednesday evening at a session of the “One Book, One Community” project sponsored jointly by the Indiana Free Library and the IUP History Department.
This project, a unique kind of book club for the whole community, centers around a book by Bob Greene, “Once Upon a Town: The Story of North Platte Canteen,” which tells a true story of a Midwest town that pulled together for a big impact on WW II troops passing through the town.
Held Wednesday night in the theater at the Jimmy Stewart Museum, Wiley summarized his 15-volume work that can also be viewed and read at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He said acceptance of his work at the Library of Congress was his crowning achievement.
His work tells the story of “what small-town America was like during World War II.”
He noted that at that time, the 1940s, Indiana County had a population of 30,000 and 441 were casualties of the war.
Prior to Wiley’s presentation, Jimmy Stewart’s U.S. Army Air Corps promotional film, “Winning Your Wings,” was shown.
The next session in the series is scheduled for Oct. 30 in the Indiana Free Library Community Room at 7 p.m., when an open book discussion will be held.
PHOTO: Among those at Wednesday’s event at the Jimmy Stewart Museum were, from left, Pauline Simms, president of the museum Board of Directors; featured speaker George Wiley; and Kate Geiger, director of the Indiana Free Library. (Teri Enciso/Gazette photo)