LAWRENCE — In honor of the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day), the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections has released more than 42 letters documenting the experience of Kenneth “Kenny” Dole, younger brother of former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, who served in the war’s Pacific Theater.
Aug. 14, 2015, marked 70 years since the Japanese government accepted the terms of surrender proposed by Allied forces, ending the battles of the Pacific theater and World War II. V-J Day was celebrated Aug. 15 in the UK and Sept. 2 in the U.S., the day formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri.
The letters, from the Nancy (Dole) Poche collection, augment an online resource, the Dole Family World War II Letters, launched by the Dole Archives in April to commemorate Bob Dole’s battlefield wounding and the end of the war in Europe.
Online viewers and researchers can search full texts, review original documents and transcripts, and sort by letter writer, recipient, date and location. The web site is available here.
The Kansas University Council for the Social Studies, in partnership with the Dole Institute, created instructional materials for middle and high school teachers using the WWII letter collection. KUCSS is a student organization that has partnered with the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics since 2012 to develop curricular and instructional materials for secondary teachers.
KUCSS seeks to provide professional development to pre-service and alumni teachers, to hold public discussions and programs, to advance social studies education and to cooperate with schools, districts and communities.
The Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections at the Dole Institute of Politics is home to one of the nation’s largest collections of papers and artifacts for a nonpresidential politician. It contains the complete records of Dole’s political and post-political career, including manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual material, oral histories, textiles, and artifacts. The collection is a window to the legislative process as well as a resource for Kansas history and a chronicle of late 20th century history and popular culture.
The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics. It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Dole Archives, offers programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as opportunities for students of all ages.