History Talk - Big Guns: The History and Preservation of Battery Townsley FebruaryFeb 18 2023 11:30am - 12:30pm America/Los_Angeles

The Benicia Historical Museum welcomes John Martini to the 2023 History Talk lineup. Come out to the Museum February 18th from 11:30 - 12:30 pm for an interesting hour on Battery Townsley during WWII. Tickets are $10.00 each - FREE for our Members. Join the Benicia Historical Museum and SAVE all year long.

John A. Martini is a native San Franciscan and a lifelong researcher of the history of California and the American West. He worked as a National Park Ranger for more than twenty-five years at parks around the country including Fort Point National Historic Site, Alcatraz Island, the National Maritime Museum, the USS Arizona Memorial, the Presidio of San Francisco, and Teddy Roosevelt's estate at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.

For many years John was stationed at the Marin Headlands District of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area as a Supervisory Park Ranger for Interpretation and Education. He completed his long career with the National Park Service at the Presidio of San Francisco where he served as Curator of Military History. He now works as an independent historian/consultant specializing in historical research, interpretation, and preservation of cultural resources.

John's specialty is historic preservation. In the late 1970s, he supervised the transfer and restoration of a rare disappearing rifle from the Smithsonian Museum. He participated in the pioneering archeological surveys of the sunken battleship USS ARIZONA in Pearl Harbor and "dry land" explorations of Sutro Heights, the Presidio, and Lands End. He also coordinated the restoration of a 1950s Nike missile site and the conversion of an abandoned military chapel at Fort Barry into an award-winning Visitor Center. John has also carried out dozens of oral history recording sessions, preserving the words and memories of people spanning the historic spectrum from Alcatraz convicts to Japanese pilots who participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He is also an acknowledged expert on America's coastal defenses and consults regularly with state and federal agencies on the preservation, restoration and interpretation of seacoast fortifications and artillery. In addition, John is recognized as the leading expert on Alcatraz Island during its years as a fortress and a U.S. Army military prison. Among his Alcatraz accomplishments was a series of Historic Structure Reports detailing the history of every building on the island.

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