Box 189

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact John Renjilian, 203-426-0864


The war in Europe had gone on for 5 long years. Just as the English Channel had protected Britain from Nazi invasion, now the Channel protected occupied Europe from liberation. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, that protection would be breached, and the massive Allied force would begin the ten-month process of ending the Third Reich. On November 12, the day after Veteran’s Day, the Newtown Historical Society, in conjunction with the C H Booth Library, will examine The Allied Invasion of Normandy, at 7.30 PM in the meeting room of the Library, in a program presented by John Cilio.

The mammoth undertaking was to become one of the most pivotal events of the 20th century. Its complexity, ingenuity and decisive effect on the war make it unique. Seventy-five years ago the bad weather plaguing the Allied commanders and planners broke, and as an early June dawn broke over the greatest sea-borne invasion ever launched. The invasion actually began on June 5, when nighttime paratroopers converged o the French countryside. They were followed by squadrons of gliders, nearly 7,000 ships and 160,000 Allied ground troops supported by nearly 300,000 naval personnel. The event followed years of near secret planning and stockpiling men and equipment for the most complex military exploit ever mounted.The odds were against it all coming together, and Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower had prepared his resignation speech in case of failure, but the heroic endeavor won the beachhead and masses of troops and material fueled its steady expansion.

John Cilio lives in Sherman, and has been a historian and storyteller for 20 years, authoring six books and over 200 articles on a broad range of topics. He believes that the consequences of ahistorical event are often hidden from those who experience it, and only by looking back can one sense the full impact of the moment in time. His goal is to make history relevant, engaging and enlightening. He has prepared a 30 minute educational and entertaining video he will begin at 7.00 PM for those who wish to come early.

All Newtown Historical Society programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the program. For further information please call the Society at 203-426-5937, or visit the website at