Fort Snelling Then and Now: The WWII Years

by Stephen E. Osman
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Mr. Osman spent three decades as the Manager of the Historic Fort Snelling site and was the last resident of the Officer’s Quarters on the Lower Post. This extensive commitment and knowledge of the entire Fort Snelling area adds personal knowledge to the photos and narrative regarding the historic buildings.

Beginning with a discussion of how the Fort inducted nearly 300,000 men and women during World War II and how the Fort underwent changes in preparation, Mr. Osman provides the reader with an interesting and easily followed description of the history up until the beginning of World War II. As we drive by today, it is astonishing to think that in 1942 there were over 1000 soldiers and civilians working to process 800 soldiers each day. While housing all the necessary functions required to move the new recruits through the steps to mobilize, the Fort also served one particularly unique function. The Military Intelligence Language School graduated 6000 students, mainly in Japanese. The other chapters offer detailed descriptions of the Lower Post, the Quartermaster Yards and Supply Depots, the Upper Post and the Reception Center, Officer’s Club, Ranges and National Cemetery. The photographs (both “vintage” and more recent) serve to enhance the accompanying narrative. Whether you have a relative who was stationed at Fort Snelling during the World War II years or you have taken a walking tour, check out this book!

Review provided by Carol M. Forbes, Member of Friends of Fort Snelling Board of Directors

Nation's Leading Historic Preservation Organization Names 'Bdote Fort Snelling' a National Treasure

Washington, DC (April 20, 2016) - The National Trust for Historic Preservation today named "Bdote Fort Snelling" a National Treasure, bringing a national spotlight to a historic place which reveals the richness of the American story. Bdote Fort Snelling is the first National Treasure designated by the National Trust in the state of Minnesota.

This designation by the nation's leading preservation organization is in recognition of the site's connections to Native American history, its role as a military post during the 19th and 20th centuries, and its connection to several significant events in American history, from the Dred Scott decision to the Japanese language school that was part of the World War II effort...

At a press event held at Bdote Fort Snelling this morning, the National Trust, along with the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Friends of Fort Snelling announced their intention to work towards developing a vision for the area's future revitalization. With a unified vision and an effective, empowered governing entity, the coalition believes that Bdote Fort Snelling could once again be a thriving center of community life in the Twin Cities.

For complete National Treasure coverage, click here to visit our featured content page

Who are the Friends of Fort Snelling?

Our History

The Friends of Fort Snelling was established in 1961 as the Fort Snelling State Park Association. The non-profit advocacy group was integral in both establishing Fort Snelling State Park and in preserving and restoring Historic Fort Snelling.

Over the years we have helped to expand and protect the Park and Fort by working to acquire funding for land and facilities, most recently the Thomas Savage Visitor Center. We have long supported new educational and interpretive programs for the Historic Fort and the State Park.

Our Purpose

To Preserve...
The natural and historical resources of the unique area where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers converge and peoples have been meeting for centuries.

To Promote...
Recreational opportunities in the metropolitan Twin Cities only state park.

Educational opportunities using Fort Snellings nationally significant historical resources.

Increased citizen support for continuing development of these public sites.

To Assist...
Fort Snelling sites staff with acquisition of resources to maintain and improve programs and amenities.

The professional staff of the sites with educational and recreational programs.

Become a member

Members of the Friends of Fort Snelling

•  Act as advocates for both Historic Fort Snelling and Fort Snelling State Park.
•  Encourage preservation of the Fort Snelling area’s natural and historical character.
•  Seek financial support for Park and Historic Fort projects.
•  Assist the professional staff through volunteer efforts.

Our members receive

•  An informative quarterly newsletter with unique content and links.
•  Invitations to Friends-sponsored events and volunteer opportunities
•  The satisfaction of preserving and promoting some of Minnesota’s premier historic and natural parklands.

Become a Friend of Fort Snelling Today!

Upcoming Events

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We are dedicated to the preservation of the historic and natural values of the Fort Snelling Area

Contact Us:
Office: (651) 300-6597

380 Jackson Street, Suite 287
Saint Paul, MN 55101

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