Datebook: April 9 - Bataan Death March 70 Years Ago

Apr 9, 2012

On April 9, 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army stripped 76,000 American and Filipino prisoners of their weapons and valuables and forced them to march from the southern end of the Bataan peninsula in Mariveles, to San Fernando, then Capas - a total of 80 miles after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines. The march was notorious for wide-ranging physical abuse and murder, and later declared a Japanese war crime. Many prisoners died of heat or exhaustion along the way. Prisoners were given no food for the first three days, and forced to drink from water buffalo wallows on the side of the roads. Refusal to cooperate was punishable by death. If prisoners fell behind, they were bayoneted. Once they arrived, overcrowding conditions caused dysentery and other diseases to spread rapidly. Word of this would not reach the United States until 1944, after statements by the escaped military officers went public. In 1945, Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma was held responsible for the march, charged with 43 counts of crimes against humanity, and executed by firing squad.

It’s Monday, April 9

The Murray State University String Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble will present a collaborative concert tomorrow night.  The program includes works by Bruch, Debussy, and Britten, as well as a special performance of the Habanera from Carmen, featuring mezzo-soprano Dr. Tana Field.  The free concert begins at 7:30 in the Performing Arts Hall, located on the 2nd floor of the Fine Arts Building.

A regular monthly meeting of the Alzheimer’s Support Group will be held tomorrow morning at 10 at the Pennyrile Area Development District Office in Hopkinsville.  For more information, call James Patterson at 886-9484.

A Pet First Aid class will be held on Saturday from noon to 4 at the Murray-Calloway Transit Authority Community Room.  The class teaches cat and dog owners how to respond to a wide range of animal emergencies.  The $40 class fee includes a reference guidebook and DVD.  Pre-register by Thursday at, or call 759-1884.

Learn more about these and other community events at