National Press Club

Hear historian John McManus' gripping account of D-Day at May 5 book talk

April 8, 2014 | By Nicole Hoffman |

Historian & author John C. McManus

Historian & author John C. McManus

Acclaimed historian John C. McManus will give a white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach in a reading from his new book, “The Dead and Those About to Die,” on May 5.

The discussion and book signing will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the conference rooms.

This is a ticketed event, and registration is required. To register, click here.

This event is a fundraiser for the NPC Journalism Institute. Books must be purchased through the Club. No outside books or memorabilia permitted. All sales are final.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the most important battle in modern history -- the Allied invasion of Europe.

The 1st Division, nicknamed the Big Red One after its shoulder patch, had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear.

Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away and soldiers were cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged. they included Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.

"The Dead and Those About to Die" draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944.