Thursday, October 2, 2014

Butler Center: Behind the Scenes

Today's peek behind the scenes takes us to the desk of a Butler Center archivist. At any given moment, the desks in the research services division are covered with documents and memorabilia representing centuries of Arkansas history.

This correspondence comes from the collection of John V. “Pete” Smith, currently being processed by staff.

Smith enlisted in the Army in 1948 at the age of eighteen. He served in the Korean War for nearly three years, most of which was as a prisoner of war. Smith served as a radio operator in D Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was captured on December 2, 1950, and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war until being released on August 14, 1953.

While a prisoner of war, Smith was able to occasionally send letters to his family.

In addition to documents related to his Korean War service, Smith’s collection contains love letters written to his future wife.

Do you know what S.W.A.K. and S.M.R.L.H. stand for?

SWAK = Sealed with a Kiss
SMRLH = Soldiers Mail, Rush Like Hell


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