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Sullivan history in documentary in error (The War)
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ^ | 09/24/2007

Posted on 09/24/2007 1:13:50 PM PDT by hawkeye101

WATERLOO --- The first installment of Ken Burns' long awaited seven-part World War II documentary, "The War," which aired on PBS Sunday night, captivated many but contained one error that caught the attention of some Cedar Valley residents.

Local viewers noted that the show' first installment, "A Necessary War," mistakenly stated that the five Sullivan Brothers, who enlisted in 1941 and were killed Nov. 13, 1942, were from Fredericksburg, Iowa, and not Waterloo.

The confusion probably arose because Bill Ball of Fredericksburg, a good friend of the Sullivans, was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. His death, according to Courier articles, is the reason that the Sullivan brothers chose to enlist.

The Sullivans had met and made friends with Ball and his siblings when they all attended dances at the Electric Park Ballroom in the 1930s.

The Sullivan Brothers were the children of Thomas Sullivan, of Harpers Ferry, who moved to Waterloo in 1910. He married Alleta Abel, a native of Waterloo, on Feb. 14, 1914. The boys --- George, Francis, Joseph, Madison and Albert --- were all born in Waterloo.

Kelly Sullivan Loughren of Cedar Falls, granddaughter and grandniece of the Sullivans, said her ancestors did not live in Fredericksburg. She deferred to unofficial local Sullivan family historian Michael Magee of Waterloo, who agreed.

"That's disappointing," Loughren said.

Magee said he hoped the producers can correct the error on any subsequent airings or DVD releases of the film.

Lynn Novick of Florentine Films, who co-produced and co-directed the film with Burns, visited Waterloo when research for the film began more than five years ago. Waterloo had been considered as one of the communities to be featured in the film, but eventually was ruled out in favor of others.

Attempts to contact Novick this morning were unsuccessful.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: brothers; burns; sullivan; war
This may no seem big, but to the citizens of Waterloo who are proud of their most famous sons, this is quite disappointing, even considering one of the producers visited Waterloo to get information about the Sullivan brothers.

I'm not sure how you could get Waterloo and Fredericksburg mixed up. Waterloo is a city of 70,000 people; Fredericksburg is a tiny town of less than a thousand.

1 posted on 09/24/2007 1:13:57 PM PDT by hawkeye101
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To: hawkeye101

I have DVRed the first episode and I can’t wait to watch it. I just got done watching his Civil War series for the millionth time.


2 posted on 09/24/2007 1:16:44 PM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: hawkeye101

I remember crying like a little boy at the end of the movie “The Sullivan Brothers”, which I was.


3 posted on 09/24/2007 1:16:54 PM PDT by AU72
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To: hawkeye101
This may not seem big,

As errors go it is not a major one in and of itself. But when one considers: how famous the Sullivan Brothers are, that they have had a ship named for them and that the Navy changed it's policies because of them, it is an oversight that should have been easily checked.

Sloppy research, or laziness, on Burns, or others part, I would say.

4 posted on 09/24/2007 1:20:15 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ("democrat" -- 'one who panders to the crude and mindless whims of the masses " - Joseph J. Ellis)
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To: Michael.SF.
I found it in ten seconds at Google...someone working for Burns was lazy..

http://www.castletown.com/Brothers.htm

5 posted on 09/24/2007 1:25:27 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Slapshot68
I watched part of the show, and much of it was good. I didn’t like the statement of the guy from Minnesota that said that going in the military was mainly for the adolescents to “grow up.” I have heard much from my Parents, family members, and others, at least here down South, joining the military was largely motivated by patriotism. Sure many were drafted, but many others, like my Grandfathers were rejected as too old. My Dad, Uncle, and others served for their country not to grow up.
6 posted on 09/24/2007 1:26:49 PM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: hawkeye101

I joined about a half-hour into last night’s program, and I thought it was over after the Guadalcanal reminiscences were done. I was waiting for the final credits, and then there was the experience of the Mexican-American Lunsford in the Marines’ “Carlson’s Raiders.” I instantly remembered that this was the tacked-on part that Burns did to accommodate Hispanic complaints “their” soldiers weren’t recognized in the doc.


7 posted on 09/24/2007 1:27:35 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Hillary for President? In the words of Bell Biv DeVoe: "Never trust a big butt and a smile!")
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To: hawkeye101
Unbelievable.
8 posted on 09/24/2007 1:29:25 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Go Hawks !)
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To: hawkeye101
I believe I caught two minor mistakes also.

First the documentary mentioned that Henderson Field was named after a fighter pilot killed at Midway, and I think the pilot actually died at Wake.

The other was a reference to the "single-shot bolt rifles" our Marines carried when they landed at Guadalcanal (1903 Springfields, which compared favorably to the Type 38 Arisakas the Japanese carried).

I changed the channel when the "hispandering" part began.

9 posted on 09/24/2007 1:45:49 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: AU72

The movie I know is called “The Fighting Sullivans”. I guess there could be two movies out there about them. This one has a scene near the end with the father pulling away on his train and looking up at the water tower his boys used to sit on to see him off. Very moving stuff.


10 posted on 09/24/2007 1:59:26 PM PDT by Bigoleelephant (Lawyers are to America what lead was to Rome.)
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To: L.N. Smithee

They’re still complaining :

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/09/24/0924remember.html


11 posted on 09/24/2007 2:02:09 PM PDT by cweese (Hook 'em Horns!!!)
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To: VR-21

I liked seeing all the hollywood celebrities coming out to help the war effort and I tried to imagine todays self indulgent whiners in LAla land ever stepping up like that

i imagined them coming out and asking why we had invaded europe when it wasn’t hilter that attacked pearl harbor


12 posted on 09/24/2007 2:03:18 PM PDT by edzo4
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To: hawkeye101
The only way I can see they messed this up is that if the Sullivan’s enlisted in Fredricksburg—which doesn’t seem likely—an official record may have listed that as their home town.
13 posted on 09/24/2007 2:12:19 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: edzo4
"I liked seeing all the hollywood celebrities coming out to help the war effort and I tried to imagine todays self indulgent whiners in LAla land ever stepping up like that."

They were a different breed to be sure. Many actually enlisted and saw combat too.

Actors and entertainers have always been a "bohemian" bunch, but they at least seemed to believe in our country then.

There are some amoung the modern ones who do, in fact probably more than we realize, but they dare not risk the left-wing "blacklist" that exists presently in the industry.

14 posted on 09/24/2007 2:47:32 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia
"I have heard much from my Parents, family members, and others, at least here down South, joining the military was largely motivated by patriotism."

I listened to Lt. Winters, who commanded the "Easy Company" portrayed in the television series "Band Of Brothers" in an interview say that there were four men in his home town who committed suicide because the military would not accept them.

I suspect that some of that was because they were young men bitterly dissapointed at missing the "big show," but people truly were different back then. If not out of patriotism, most joined, I believe, because they thought it was the right thing to do.

15 posted on 09/24/2007 2:59:58 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: cweese
They’re still complaining:

From your link:


More than 500,000 Hispanics fought in the war, and Hispanics have earned more Medals of Honor than any other ethnic group, said League of United Latin American Citizens national President Rosa Rosales.
Excuse me? Do they not count "white" an ethnic group? This doesn't make a lick of sense to me, probably for good reason.
16 posted on 09/24/2007 3:28:28 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Hillary for President? In the words of Bell Biv DeVoe: "Never trust a big butt and a smile!")
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To: L.N. Smithee

I doubt Rosa Rosales thinks whites are anything but an inconvenience.


17 posted on 09/24/2007 3:39:49 PM PDT by cweese (Hook 'em Horns!!!)
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To: edzo4
re; # 12

I liked seeing all the hollywood celebrities coming out to help the war effort and I tried to imagine todays self indulgent whiners in LAla land ever stepping up like that.

I just posted the following link in the CHAT saection that I think you will like:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/browse

18 posted on 09/24/2007 3:49:02 PM PDT by Turret Gunner A20 (.... when you really start to pay attention, you automatically become a conservative.)
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To: VR-21
I listened to Lt. Winters, who commanded the "Easy Company" portrayed in the television series "Band Of Brothers" in an interview say that there were four men in his home town who committed suicide because the military would not accept them.

I suspect that some of that was because they were young men bitterly dissapointed at missing the "big show," but people truly were different back then. If not out of patriotism, most joined, I believe, because they thought it was the right thing to do. My father joined the Marines in July 1942 and washed out as 4F - he was deeply ashamed of this. It didn't matter to him that he went on to work on the Manhattan Project at Hanford and that his contribution to the war effort there was just as important as what he could've done with the USMC he never got over the fact that he didn't "do his part" in uniform.

19 posted on 09/24/2007 4:28:41 PM PDT by PeterFinn (Do not wish ill for your enemies, plan it.)
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To: hawkeye101

I’ve watched some of it...and it’s left leaning crap. Bias through and through...pbs sucks.


20 posted on 09/24/2007 4:31:14 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: AU72

Same here. I watched that 1944 movie a jillion times. At the end, when they were walking in the clouds, and then waiting for the youngest one to catch up, like in he did in real life, was a real tearjerker.


21 posted on 09/24/2007 4:35:51 PM PDT by exit82 (Major General, Armchair Warriors USA)
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To: VR-21

Can you imagine what would have happened if the Italian American community complained about not receiving specific coverage.


22 posted on 09/24/2007 11:34:02 PM PDT by Always Independent
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To: Always Independent
It’s infuriating I know, but as hard as it can be I think it’s important to remember that we’re not really dealing with veterans so much as we are “activists” with a political agenda. They have no desire to honor those who served, but rather to use them. It’s despicable, but it’s also a time honored and well honed tactic of the left.

This is a cut & paste of my response to a poster who thought somebody was insulting active duty personnel in another thread which was about this very topic. I’m also attaching a link to that thread as well. Forgive my laziness in not re-typing it.

"I think the slam was intended for "hispanic veterans" who are indignant about Burns failure to insert policical correctness into a documentary.

I haven't seen the documentary yet of course, but in my opinion the only valid focus on ethnicity in a history of Americans in WWII would be on the institutional segregation of black Americans, and the story of the American Indian code talkers, and the Japanese Neisi. It has some relevance in those cases.

I have Mexican blood, and a Mexican great uncle who fought at Tarawa. I know he would have been disgusted at the transparent manner those activists try to inject modern politics into history.

He (that great uncle) did by the way tell me often when I was a young boy that he had nothing but contempt for Mexico and wouldn't consider living in that country as a king. He also had a brother (who I never knew) who was severely wounded at the Remagen Bridge.”

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1901013/posts

23 posted on 09/25/2007 5:59:06 AM PDT by VR-21
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To: VR-21

I guess some these groups just have to have their special recognition! as for the rest, well I guess that they have to settle for being AMERICANS.


24 posted on 09/25/2007 10:37:15 AM PDT by Always Independent
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia
My late Dad enlisted in the Navy after graduating high school in 1942. He did it for patriotic reasons.

What do you expect from Minnesota, anyway?

25 posted on 09/25/2007 10:44:45 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: Michael.SF.

USS The Sullivans (DDG-68)

http://www.sullivans.navy.mil/


26 posted on 09/25/2007 10:49:58 AM PDT by PurpleMan
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To: L.N. Smithee
More than 500,000 Hispanics fought in the war, and Hispanics have earned more Medals of Honor than any other ethnic group, said League of United Latin American Citizens national President Rosa Rosales.

Wrong on two counts. I just don't buy the 500,000 number. Approximately 16 million Americans served in uniform during WWII. Hispanics made up around 1.5% of the 130 million Americans, which equates to 1,950,000. When you take into account that half of the number were women and then allow for age, i.e., the number of men between the ages of 18-30, there is no way 500,000 served even if some women are added who could have served in the WACs, WAVEs, etc.

Irish-Ameicans claim that they had more MOH winners. Irish Dominate Medal of Honor List

27 posted on 09/25/2007 10:54:46 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
Irish-Ameicans claim that they had more MOH winners.

To the credit of the men in the field, none of that mattered.

28 posted on 09/26/2007 9:25:57 AM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Hillary for President? In the words of Bell Biv DeVoe: "Never trust a big butt and a smile!")
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