News Release

Tribute honors those chronicled in On American Soil

On American Soil cover

On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of World War II, by KING-TV and CNN reporter Jack Hamann, chronicles the unjust trial and conviction of 28 African American men for the murder of an Italian prisoner of war at Seattle's Fort Lawton. The groundbreaking work of this book eventually led to a long-overdue apology from the Army and the overturning of those convictions. Hamann and On American Soil have been the focus of several New York Times articles, including front-page coverage, and national NPR stories.

A tribute to the soldiers, and a memorial for the Italian POW, will take place at Seattle's Discovery Park, July 24-27, 2008. For more information, see the author's Web site,

On Thursday, July 24, 2008, at 5 p.m. at Seattle University's Pigott Atrium, join a discussion of Race, Justice & the Military, with James Bible, Seattle/King County NAACP; Major General Timothy Lowenberg, U.S. Army JAG; Professor Robert Chang, Seattle University School of Law; and Jack Hamann, author, On American Soil. A video about the Fort Lawton riot, lynching, and court-martial by KING-TV's Up Front will also be shown.

The symposium will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by a reception and mass in the Chapel of St. Ignatius to honor the life and memory of Guglielmo Olivotto.

On Saturday, July 26, 2008, in Discovery Park at 10:00 a.m., join a formal tribute to the veterans and their families of the largest and longest Army court-martial of World War II, with Assistant Secretary of the Army Ronald J. James, U.S. Representative Jim McDermott, King County Executive Ron Sims, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, family representative Lashell Drake and author Jack Hamann. Music will be provided by The I Corps U.S. Army Band and by DaNell Daymon and Royalty Gospel Choir.

At noon, there will be a free community picnic with an opportunity to meet and mingle with the Fort Lawton families. Food will be provided by Ezell's Famous Chicken, Jones BBQ, and Talking Rain.