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Posted April 12, 2012

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Bataan March Program Airs on KNME Thursday, April 12

Teaching materials are available that coincide with 70th anniversary documentary

In conjunction with the anniversary week of the fall of Bataan, New Mexico PBS presents a new, hour-long program, BATAAN: A 70TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION, premiering at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 12, on KNME, Channel 5. The program was produced by New Mexico PBS in cooperation with Jan Thompson. 

Just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, New Mexico’s 200th Coast Artillery was the “first to fire” on the enemy. That night, in order to provide anti-aircraft protection for Manila, the regiment was split, forming the 515th Coast Artillery, the first battle-born unit of World War II. New Mexico’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery units were in place on Bataan at the time of the surrender. Some of the members of these and other units survived the infamous Bataan Death March and are alive today. 

New Mexico PBS captured the stories of some of these last remaining survivors. 

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the fall of Bataan and the subsequent death march, Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) proposed legislation in December to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the troops who defended Bataan during World War II. The next day, Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) proposed a similar resolution in the House of Representatives. Udall appears on the program. 

Social studies and language arts teachers may be interested in using this documentary in class or in future classes. Materials are available on the KNME website.

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