Billy Graham Center

The Archives Bulletin Board

Every month, this Bulletin Board will highlight a new document or set of documents that are available in the Archives. These are intended solely for the edification of our viewers and cannot be copied or otherwise reused without permission. Come on over and have a look!

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May 2014: Home Movies from the 1940s:
Japan and Wheaton


American MP and Japanese policeman directing traffic in downtown
Click on image to see entire film. (13 1/4 minutes)

Wheaton College's Blanchard Hall in 1947.
Click on image to see entire film. (1 1/4 minutes)

Film F26, ca. 1946
Film F27, ca. 1947
Duane Rudolph Engholm was drafted into the United States Army in 1945 and sent to the Philippines just after V-J day, when all Imperial Japanese forces had surrendered. After some months in Manila he was sent on to Tokyo, beginning a lifelong involvement with Japanese culture. The native of Ashland, Wisconsin served as a chaplain's assistant. Engholm's duties in that post included a brief meeting with former prime minister Hideki Tojo, who was recuperating in the hospital from his suicide attempt before the war crimes trial that would result in his death sentence.

Engholm became one of the servicemen who founded the G. I. Gospel Hour, first to evangelize among American military and then to work among the Japanese and Filipino populations. The Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (later SEND International) was formally organized out of the GIGH in 1947. About the same time, Engholm came back to Wheaton College to complete the formal education interrupted by the war. After graduating in 1951, he spent ten years in Japan as a FEGC missionary. He went back to the United States in the mid 1960s but returned to Japan in 1979 as a college professor to teach English, which he did until retirement. In his later years he was one of the most active organizers of GI Gospel Hour reunions. He died in 2001 in San Diego, California.
The Bulletin Board this month features excerpts two of his home movies from the period of his first experience of Japan and includes a glimpse of Wheaton College in 1947.
Excerpts film F26, which was taken while Engholm was in Japan and shows a variety of scenes from daily life: transportation by cow, bike and man, train travel, an American MP and a Japanese policeman directing traffic in downtown Tokyo, souvenir stands, collecting seaweed and algae at the shore, processing the catch of the fishing fleet, Japanese kids playing baseball, scenes at various recreational camps where men from the GIGH cooperated with Japanese Christians. The last scenes are of American servicemen digging the foundations for what would be the FEGC headquarters in Japan. (Excerpts are 13 1/4 minutes long.)
Excerpts from film F27 shows scenes around Wheaton College campus, including Blanchard Hall, Pierce chapel, the student body (and Professor Mortimer Lane) going to class. (Excerpts are 1 1/4 minutes long.)

These two films are part of Collection 406, the Records of SEND International. The collection contains many similar GI home movies taken in Japan and the Philippines in the late 1940s and early 1950s, often documenting the early work of the FEGC.

Thanks to Bruce Knowlton of Academic and Media Technology for his help in setting up this page.

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