03/21/10 — WCC speaker to tie Fort Macon to Wayne

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WCC speaker to tie Fort Macon to Wayne

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 21, 2010 1:50 AM

Fort Macon ranger and historian Paul R. Branch Jr. will discuss the fort's history and connections to Wayne County in a talk at Wayne Community College on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium.

A Carteret County native, Branch has worked for the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation at Fort Macon State Park for almost 29 years. He authored "The Siege of Fort Macon" in 1981 and "Fort Macon: A History" in 1995 and is currently working on a book about German U-boat operations off the U.S. coast in World War II. Branch also contributed to the "Dictionary of North Carolina Biography" and the "Encyclopedia of North Carolina." He holds a degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Students in WCC's mechanical engineering, machining and welding technology programs are already familiar with the connection to the coastal fort. They are building an alumimum carriage for one of the fort's replica 32-pounder cannons. The structure will replace a wooden one that is rotting away beneath the pressure of wind, moisture and salt.

During his time on campus, Branch will incorporate a visit to history classes, where he will speak to those who are participating in the project.

After his lecture to the public, he will also be available to sign copies of his book.

The event, which is provided by the Foundation of Wayne Community College, is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Foundation at 735-5151 or e-mail jek@waynecc.edu.