PAA Receives WWII Newspaper Collection

Linda Usher, a recent Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) board member, donated a newspaper collection to Marc Patchin, PAA history, global studies and German teacher, for student use. The collection is comprised of front pages and headlines published during World War II, mainly from The Oregonian, Portland's daily newspaper.

One of the earliest headlines is “Yugoslavia’s Chance of Peace With Germany Extremely Slim,” dated April 2, 1941. Other headlines document the dropping of the atomic bombs, Germany's and Japan’s surrenders, and Roosevelt’s death, as well as hundreds of other front pages. The course of war is well chronicled in this collection.

Usher came into possession of the documents after befriending a senior couple, Ellis and Elizabeth Anderson. As this couple grew older and had to give up their home for health reasons, the plan was to discard most of their belongings. Usher recognized the value of these artifacts and went to the trouble of retrieving them and storing them for several years. She then thought that students in a secondary school might be able to use them, so she contacted Patchin and brought them to him for class use.

During the war years, Ellis not only used foresight in saving these papers but went to considerable effort to get them. On many occasions he had to walk some distance to a store to buy them because of gasoline rationing.

Patchin is happy to have these research sources as he feels it is invaluable for students to use primary sources in studying history. He wants his students to be able to put their hands on documents that existed at the time that such history as World War II was happening to compare the reactions of people then with our current perceptions of those historical events.

January 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference