Professor Gibson
Creative Vault

A Corn-Flakes Box Mystery and Old Letters

Hello, time-hopping readers!

Diving into my creative vault, I’ve unearthed a video from 2016, Bonds of Friendship, that was first showcased at a historical marker celebration in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. To achieve continuity in the storytelling, I had to emulate the style of the original interviews, which I hadn’t personally filmed. This required a touch of creative problem-solving.

The goal was to expand on some initial filming and incorporate new voices into the story. Before I became involved in the project, this story was featured on the NBC nightly news with Lester Holt. I’ve posted that story at the bottom of this page.

The Set Up

During World War II, around 372,000 German prisoners of war were held in camps throughout the United States. Many of these rural camps, including the one in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, became temporary homes for hundreds or thousands of captured young German soldiers. This meeting of cultures had the potential to result in animosity, violence, and discrimination. Instead, in Lawrenceburg, the captives and their guards forged lasting friendships that endured beyond the war. This remarkable tale of tolerance and acceptance during a time of crisis holds valuable lessons for us today, particularly in light of ongoing intolerance.

Long forgotten until rediscovered in a cornflakes box, hundreds of letters after the war tell us the story from the words of the former prisoners of war and show us what life was like in Germany after the war.

The Stribling-Brock Collection of letters, housed in Lipscomb University’s Beaman Library, reveals this extraordinary story. A prominent theme that runs through these letters is the power of relationships to break down stereotypes and rise above political divisions.

Enjoy today’s video from the vault!

Below is the original NBC Nightly News story about the POW letters from 2015.