The Alliance Française of Newport will present a program about Japanese-American soldiers who fought in  France during World War II.

Dr. JamesT. McIlwain, Professor Emeritus at Brown University, will give a talk on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at the Redwood Library located at 50 Bellevue Avenue in Newport. There will be a Reception at 6:00 p.m. The program begins at 6:45 p.m.

The title of Dr. McIlwain’s presentation is: American Samurai in France: Japanese Americans Liberate Bruyères-en-Vosges, October, 1944

The history of France and that of Americans of Japanese ancestry intersected during WWII in the Vosges, a region of forested hills near the German border.  The 442nd Regimental Combat team, composed largely of Japanese-Americans, was tasked with freeing several small towns in the area that had been occupied by the Germans.  Friendships that developed between the soldiers and those they liberated have lasted to this day.

The event is free for members of The  Alliance Française of Newport and members of The Redwood Library. Guest fee of $15. Reservations are necessary. RSVP by May 12, 2019 to

The Alliance Française of Newport has been part of an international organization for more than 65 years dedicated to the study of the French language and to promoting cultural exchange.  Members of the AFN participate in conversation groups, art gallery and museum events and lectures about French culture and history.

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Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

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