Duane Smith

Position: Professor emeritus, Fort Lewis College

Smith; Durango, and nation, hoped war’s end near

With the shock of the second atomic bomb being dropped, Americans wondered how much longer Japan could hold out. Surrounded by naval ships, relentlessly bombed, and defeated throughout Asia, the...

DATE: Sept. 2, 2017 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

Smith: Region’s contribution to war effort considerable

Durango Herald Democrat, Aug. 4, 1945: Durango’s smelter played a role in the developing of the atomic bomb. Under government contract, the United States Vanadium Corporation re-opened Durango’s...

DATE: Aug. 7, 2017 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

By 1945, pre-war days gone forever

The fourth year of the United States’ involvement in World War II dawned in January 1945. Few doubted that United Nations’ forces were winning on all fronts. Italy had long ago been knocked out of...

DATE: Feb. 5, 2017 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

Local news tracked effects of the war on the fledgling Fort Lewis Junior College

World War II had a major impact on a struggling Fort Lewis Junior College. For example, enrollment dropped from 120 students in 1941 to 50 in 1944. The number of men declined to nine in 1945,with...

DATE: Jan. 1, 2017 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

With victory in sight, so was normal living

By April 1944, Durangoans could relax a little about the war’s outcome. News, censured as it was, definitely had taken a positive turn on all fronts. Republicans thought so also, as their hopes...

DATE: Dec. 4, 2016 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

Fourth term for FDR as war dragged on

One of the big questions of the day was President Roosevelt running for yet another term. He had already passed what had been the understood as the traditional two-term limit. Now he was...

DATE: Nov. 5, 2016 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

The Blues Train rolls out this weekend

A growing trend in concert venues is to put a bunch of musicians on a moving train, invite the public and host a moving festival. Music on a train was documented in the film “Festival Express,”...

DATE: May 29, 2014 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

Just a few years old and already a lively town

Durango Daily Herald, Sept. 9, 1887: “For sale – two lots well fenced, small plastered house, well located on Fourth Street. Price $400.“Quite a large party of Durango people attended the party...

DATE: Nov. 6, 2010 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

In infancy, Durango had high expectations

From The Durango Herald May 3, 1883:“The Herald in receipt of a polite note asking ‘Upon what do you base your expectations for the future of your town?’“We have schools and churches that would be...

DATE: Oct. 2, 2010 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

Record thrived on opium dens, cries for ‘blood’

Durango was only 16 months old when editor Caroline Romney’s Durango Record reported some fascinating stories in the Feb. 1-3, 1882, newspapers.A court case involved Cora, a prostitute. The article...

DATE: Sept. 4, 2010 | COLUMN: Duane Smith

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