Dr. John C. McManus, associate professor of history and an expert in U.S. military history, was named the 2012 Research Fellow by the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park. The museum’s main exhibit hall presents the story of the 1st Infantry Division from its prehistory, beginning in the Revolutionary War, to its activation in World War 1.
McManus’ research mission is to deduce how and why the 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, was able to succeed on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
“While the story of the actual fighting on Omaha Beach is well known, the deeper story of why the 1st Division triumphed there, with profound consequences to this day, needs analysis,” says Paul Herbert, executive director of the First Division Museum. “We’re delighted to award this fellowship to a scholar of John McManus’ caliber.”
Once research is completed, McManus will write a book on his findings in conjunction with the museum’s publishing arm, Cantigny Military History Series.
“I am very honored to be awarded a First Division Museum fellowship,” says McManus. “The museum has made a great deal of excellent scholarship possible, and I am hopeful of adding to the fine legacy. The division’s rich and storied history is endlessly fascination to me, especially its experiences at Omaha Beach. My hope is to shed much new light on this crucial moment in history.”
The museum offers research fellowships to history majors, graduate students, doctoral candidates and post-doctoral scholars. Fellowships are decided on the basis of using the history of the 1st Infantry Division to further the museum’s mission. Applicants were required to submit a detailed research proposal and curriculum vitae, and applying students also needed at least one letter of recommendation from a current professor, faculty advisor or department chair.