SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The SouthFirst Bank Adult Lecture Series continues Wednesday at B.B. Comer Memorial Library with teacher, historian and author, Leah Rawls Atkins as she presents “Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan – A Quiet Heroism in World War II.”
Atkins, a friend and admirer of the legendary Coach Jordan, will tell the almost forgotten story of Jordan leading young men to victory on unfamiliar fields far from home where life and death literally hung in the balance.
Long before Jordan became a legendary Auburn football coach (1951-1975), he trained and led men onto the shores of Normandy on D-Day, coming home with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Jordan’s military commission, earned from Auburn’s ROTC program in 1932, was reactivated after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He entered the Army as an officer in the United States Army Corp of Engineers where he participated in four invasions during World War II. Wounded by shrapnel at Normandy, Jordan was back in action for the Okinawa landings and for the planning of the invasion of Japan- later believing that the bombs and the end of the war saved his life.
At the time of his death almost four decades after World War II began, Jordan was memorialized for leading young men to victory on foreign ground. Atkins, a friend and admirer of Coach Jordan, will tell the almost forgotten story of the legendary coach leading young men to victory on unfamiliar lands far from home where life and death literally hung in the balance.
Leah Rawls Atkins, the first Ph.D. in history at Auburn University, taught history at Auburn University, UAB, and Samford University. She established and directed what is now the Caroline Marshal Draughan Center for the Arts and Humanities where she serves as the Director Emerita. Atkins has published numerous books dealing with Alabama history.
Refreshments begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by the program at noon.
Kim Ellison for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved