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Convocation Unlocks the Language of the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

November 1, 2013
By Ben Strauss '16

Native American historian Zonnie Gorman will present the Carleton College convocation address on Friday, November 8 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. In her presentation, Gorman will discuss the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II; Gorman is the daughter of Carl Gorman, one of the first twenty-nine Code Talkers. This event is free and open to the public. Carleton’s convocations are also streamed online and can be viewed at

The Code Talkers were a small band of young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of World World II. Considered the most ingenious and successful code in military history, their unbreakable code played a pivotal role in saving countless lives and hastening the war’s end. More about the Navajo Code Talkers can be found at

Historian Zonnie Gorman has appeared in several documentaries, including the History Channel documentary “Navajo Code Talkers,” the MGM movie “Windtalkers,” and the PBS documentary “True Whispers.” She is also a consultant for museum exhibitions and books on the subject and lectures extensively throughout the United States at colleges and universities, museums and other institutions.

Gorman currently serves as the Project Coordinator for the Circle of Light Navajo Educational Project. The non-profit organization offers a variety of Navajo role models to young Navajos to foster cultural pride and self-worth and educates them along with non-Navajos about the rich history, culture, language and contributions of the Navajo people. More online at

Gorman is the recipient of the 2013 National Archives Regional Residency Fellowship for the National Archives at St. Louis. Learn more about Gorman at

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Office of College Relations. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street, between College and Winona Streets, in Northfield.