In July 2010 the NEH sponsored a workshop for college professors at the East-West Center in Hawaii. The title of the conference was “History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War.” As one of the 25 American scholars chosen to attend the workshop, Professor Penelope Blake anticipated an opportunity to visit hallowed sites such as Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial and the Punchbowl Cemetery and engage with scholars who share her interest in studying this often neglected part of World War II history. Instead, Professor Blake was treated to the most disturbing experience of her academic career, a conference which she found to be driven by an overt political bias and a blatant anti-American agenda.
Professor Blake expressed her eloquent indignation over the program in a letter to her congressman that we posted in “Investigate this,” documenting examples of what transpired at the conference. Copies of the letter were also sent to members of the NEH Council and to Leach.
We followed up with a message from Professor Blake in “A word from Professor Blake.” We then posted Professor Blake’s damning response to the letter that she received from NEH Chairman Jim Leach in “Professor Blake replies.”
These posts came to the attention of the American Legion’s Mark Seavey, who dug into the story at the Legion’s Burn Pit blog. We noted Seavey’s post providing background on the conference here.
Last night the Hannity Show covered the story on Fox News in a good segment with Professor Blake and American Legion executive director Peter Gaytan (after a 30-second advertisement in the video below). Mr. Gaytan thanked the indomitable Professor Blake for standing up for America’s greatest generation.
The NEH was apparently otherwise engaged; Hannity reported that the NEH had not responded to the show’s calls as of air time. Was Chairman Leach off somewhere on his 50-state bloviation tour? Or were the offices closed in honor of Veterans Day?
In a series of posts on Chairman Leach, we have followed the descent of the NEH into politics and buffoonery. With the East-West Center program the NEH appears to have touched bottom.