ALABAMA SCHOOL VISITS
Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr.
T-O-R-T-U-R-E. As the television camera focused on his face, Commander Jeremiah Denton, a Prisoner of War, blinked this word in Morse Code over and over. He sent a message to the world from North Vietnam, while answering a reporter’s questions. After the war, Rear Admiral Denton received the Navy Cross–not for this message–but for his answer to the reporter’s question: “What do you think about your government’s actions?” Knowing he would be tortured more, Denton said, “…whatever the position of my government, I agree with it. I support it. I will support it as long as I live!” Years later, he continued this vow by becoming a congressman from Alabama in the United States Senate.
Commander Denton also acted as the spokesperson for the first plane load of POWs returning from North Vietnam. His short three sentence speech is still remembered by many: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America!”
Jeremiah Denton's life story weaves in people and events that provided values and essential life-tools for him. A noted Naval aviator before the Vietnam War, he was a U.S. Senator from Alabama afterward. For ages 12+
Originally called the POW/MIA Remembrance Table during the Vietnam War, it was used to remember Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action. In today’s military, there is a Remembrance Table at every formal dinner, but there can be slight variations in items included on the table. Storyteller, Anne Chancey Dalton uses each item on a table set for one person to tell the moving story of Jeremiah Denton's life and the effects the war had on his wife and seven children.
Grades: K-1 Time: 20 minutes
Grades: 2-3 Time: 30 minutes
Madeline LaSalle gives a first hand account of her family’s adventures as they sail from France to Massacre Island (present-day Dauphin Island, AL) in 1701. Her three sons are typical brothers, so they don’t always get along. She lets students see and touch artifacts as she tells about life aboard ship and on Massacre Island. They feel her fear when pirates try to capture the ship! But they also share her joy when the colonists celebrate Christmas in Pensacola. Madame LaSalle tells how the Spanish at Pensacola, the French at La Mobile, and the Native Americans help each other.
Grades: 4-8 Time: 60 min.
Madeline LaSalle tells about her family’s adventures and lets students see and touch artifacts. She vividly describes hair-raising experiences of a teenage cabin boy who lived in Indian villages (gore appropriate for age levels). She explains how the Mobilian Indians taught their children to be brave. Her son, Nicolas learns about Indian burial customs in a Mobilian village, and develops respect for bone-pickers. See: Lesson Plans
and Triumphs of a Cassette Girl
Marie Boisrenaud shows artifacts as she recounts the dangerous voyage of French girls to La Mobile. Each soon-to-be bride had her dowry in a small trunk called a cassette. Independent and strong-willed Marie didn’t approve of the way Commandant Bienville ran the colony. When she sided with colonists against him, he prevented her marriage to the man she loved. Battle lines were drawn, and Marie tells sad and funny tales about life in the wilderness—colonists battling Indians, disease, and each other.
Dalton’s presentations were interesting, because she told them from the
point of view of someone from that time.”
liked Mrs. Dalton’s enthusiasm!”
Dream Ghost Presentations
A Bad Dream, a Ball of light, and a Burglary
A Southern Belle and Shootouts
Grades 9-12: 45 minutes
Anne leads a tour of
Old Cahaba the setting for Dream Ghost.