Edward J. Talbert: Reflections

Capitol View Library

Edward J. Talbert: Reflections

Tuskegee Airman and Capitol View Library's first manager

In recognition of 2014 Armed Forces Day and Older Americans Month, Edward J. Talbert will talk about his military service and his career as a librarian. 

airmen4Armed Forces Day began on May 20, 1950 thanks to the persistence of President Harry S. Truman.  In l949,  he led the effort to have citizens honor the service of U.S. military men and women.  On this occasion, the nation recognizes their patriotic service through parades, air shows and other events.  

oldamericanSince 1963, May has also been the month to acknowledge the contributions of older adults to their communities.  President John F. Kennedy initiated the occasion as "Senior Citizens Month." In 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated the tradition as Older Americans Month.

On Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m., Capitol View Neighborhood Library will celebrate the two occasions by featuring retired Major Edward J. Talbert, who will be joined by his daughter Patricia E. Talbert Smith. 

The 91-year-old Talbert served his country as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-black aircraft fighter unit that overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly decorated fighter groups during World War II. The name refers to the 1,000 combat pilots, navigators, instructors and 14,000 maintenance staff that took part in the Army Air Corps Program that started in Tuskegee, Ala. in 1940 and lasted until 1946. Mr. Talbert was stationed at Lockbourne Army Air Base in Columbus, Ohio, in 1946.

Following a distinguished military career, Mr. Talbert would ultimately find his calling in the library profession. In 1962, he earned his Masters in Library Science Degree from Catholic University. When the Capitol View library opened on Jan. 23, 1965, Mr. Talbert served as the first branch manager. He supervised a staff of 11, a collection of 24,000 volumes and a materials budget of $19,000.

You do not want to miss this event for an enlightening stroll down memory lane!