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Silent Voices of WWII in the Pacific and in New Mexico


Nancy R. Bartlit brings to life the voices of people who experienced WWII in the Pacific or in New Mexico. From teaching in and of Japan, to lifelong living in and teaching Los Alamos history (60+ years), Ms. Bartlit continues to gather stories of Japanese Americans and New Mexicans. Sharing their similar travels, she earns a person’s trust to re-tell his story and to connect each to the larger known confrontation. Through her book, lectures, preservation work, and publishing, she helps instruct the War’s history by sharing New Mexico’s unique contributions to stop it.

Historian Nancy Bartlit will speak at the Placitas Community Library on February 18 at 2pm. Her talk “Silent Voices of World War II,” will illustrate five aspects of New Mexico encounters with Japan. These include the Bataan Death March which 2000 NM National Guardsmen endured. The Navajo Code Talkers whose innovative use of their language created an unbreakable code which was critical to our success in the Pacific. She will also highlight voices from the shameful history of the Japanese internment camp in Santa Fe, the secret Manhattan Project, and questions around the reason for the Japanese surrender.

Nancy Bartlit is well known as a speaker, author, historic preservationist, and publisher on topics including World War II experiences in New Mexico. She has also travelled widely, visiting many WWII sites. Bartlit presided over the purchase of the cottage Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer lived in during WWII. Ms Bartlit championed the Art in Public Places bronze, iconic statues of “Oppie” and General Leslie R. Groves. She was honored with the Los Alamos Historical Society’s highest award and is a Los Alamos Living Treasure. She founded Pajarito Press LLC; M.A., International Communications (UNM); B.A., History (Smith College); and is former sensei in Sendai. Her book Silent Voices of World War II: New Mexico’s Fierce Encounters with Japan (new edition) will be available in 2023. For more information contact; or

The Placitas Community Library is located at 452 Highway 165 in Placitas. For more information call 505 867-3355 or visit our website Please join us on February 18 at 2pm to hear Nancy Bartlit. This program is sponsored by the Historical Society of New Mexico.