hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Marlon Molinos)” airs 2/15/13.
This week the people of Guam bid adios and laid to rest two historians: one a native son of Guam and the other, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who made Guam home for over three decades:
Mr. Antonio (Tony) Manibusan Palomo was a former senator, journalist, teacher and director of the Guam Museum who passed away on February 1, 2013 at the age of 81. Dr. Dirk Anthony Ballendorf was a former Director of the Peace Corps in Palau, President of the Community College in Pohnpei (now the College of Micronesia), and retired professor of History and Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam who passed away on February 4, 2013 at the age of 73.
On today’s program, fellow historians pay tribute to these two remarkable men and provide commentary on their role and methods as historians and teachers. They also provide commentary on two books written by Palomo and Ballendorf, respectively, that illustrate the different contributions of ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ researchers and provide historical insights to the interplay of local and federal politics and the conundrum of Guam’s political status.
In the first half (recorded 2/7/13) , Guam historian and Beyond the Fence program host, Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (email@example.com) pays tribute to his mentor and provides commentary on Mr. Palomo’s book An Island in Agony (1984, self published) which chronicled the Japanese occupation of Guam in World War II. He discusses the impact of Mr. Palomo’s work on his own formation as an historian and in the retelling of Guam’s history from a Chamorro perspective. Mr. Palomo’s work represented the first post World War II attempt to celebrate the local and protect its cultural, linguistic, and historical significance.
Dr. Bevacqua is a graduate of the Micronesian Studies Program and now an assistant professor of Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam. His research, which deals with refocusing and reimagining Guam’s history in ways that strengthen and empower the Chamorro, rather than disempower them, owes much to Mr. Palomo. Dr. Bevacqua has a weekly column in the Marianas Variety and is co-producer of a forthcoming PBS documentary “War on Guam” for which Mr. Palomo was a valuable source.
In the second half (recorded 2/13/13), Dr. Richard H.J. Wyttenbach-Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org) pays tribute to his friend Dr. Dirk Anthony Ballendorf. He provides commentary on the book, The Secret Guam Study: How Presidents Ford’s 1975 Approval of Commonwealth Was Blocked by Federal Officials (2004, Micronesian Area Research Center). This book, which Dr. Ballendorf co-authored with Howard P. Willens and dedicated to the people of Guam, explores the origin of an important and previously undisclosed secret study of Guam’s political status as well as the lengthy process undertaken, including a lawsuit, to secure these classified documents from the federal government. Because of the tenacious efforts of Ballendorf and Willens, these once secret documents are now available at the Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center.
Dr. Wyttenbach-Santos (email@example.com) is a retired associate professor at the University of Guam where he taught History of Guam courses from 1992-2002 and also served as Vice President of Student Affairs. He played an instrumental role in assisting Willens and Ballendorf to gather materials and arrange interviews on Guam in support of the book. He is also author of several articles and conference presentations including one which disclosed the policy paper of President Carter on Guam’s political status which was a duplicate of the one that President Ford signed. Dr. Wyttenbach-Santos was also a career naval officer for 32 years as a surface warfare officer with a focus on political-military matters. His dissertation examined the decision making in D.C. as to what to do with the Micronesian islands after World War II and the political status of Guam. In 1974 the Navy assigned him to Guam to help solve the Sella Bay controversy and improve civil-military relations. He was an advisor to the US Navy on Guam and the Micronesian region for many years. More recently, he served three terms as Senior Policy Advisor on the military buildup to former Senator Judith P. Guthertz.
Music selection is “My Old Friend” by Tim McGraw.
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