Last of the living WWII heroes 

Peter McDonald Navajo Code TalkerPeter MacDonald is one of the last Navajo Code Talkers of World War II who used a unique code during the war in the Pacific to transmit secret messages. It was based on words in the Navajo language, but understanding Navajo didn’t mean a person could understand the code.

The Navajo Code, the only military code in modern history that was never broken by an enemy, and the Code Talkers saved hundreds of thousands of lives and helped to shorten the war in the Pacific. "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima" said Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division.

Join LifeLong Learning at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14, in the Renaissance Theater when MacDonald will explain how the Navajo Code was developed and used during the war. He will also discuss the current state of the Navajo Code Talkers. It will be a memorable experience to hear this fascinating story from Mr. MacDonald, a Navajo elder statesman and patriot.

MacDonald, president of the Navajo Code Talker Association and former leader of the Navajo Nation, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 15 and went through boot camp at U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. Following regular combat and communication training at USMCB in Camp Pendleton, California, MacDonald, along with other Navajo Marines, was secluded from other Marines for top secret Navajo Code School. During the final phase of World War II (1944-46) MacDonald served in the South Pacific as a Navajo Code Talker and in North China with the Sixth Marine Division.

Honorably discharged with a rank of Corporal, MacDonald graduated from the University of Oklahoma with an Electrical Engineering degree. He has received numerous honors including the Congressional Silver Medal for heroic service to the nation as a USMC Navajo Code Talker; election to the University of Oklahoma Engineering Hall of Fame and Special Commendation by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon for “exceptional services to others.”

Admission to all Premier Lectures is $15 per person and can be purchased online or with cash in the lobby of the Renaissance Theater one hour prior to the lecture, subject to availability. Up to four admissions can be purchased in one transaction.

For online purchases, on the day before the event, a QR code ticket will be emailed to each person registered.  The QR code ticket is a personal code for each person registered and the printed ticket(s) are required for admittance. Bring the printed tickets with you for admittance.

Registration opens September 20


DATE / TIME:  Friday, Jan. 14, 7 - 8:30 p.m.

COST:  $15

For more information:

National Museum of the American Indian

1942: Navajo Code Talkers

Navajo Code Talkers:  The last of the Living World War II heroes share their stories