Zonnie has become the foremost Code Talker scholar in the world…and her lecture reflects this!
— -Judy Avila, Best-selling Author of Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

Zonnie Gorman speaks at Carleton College; Photo: Jerry Smith, Northfield News

The Marine Navajo Code Talkers played a vital role in the Pacific campaigns during World War II.  They developed a code in their native language that baffled the Japanese and helped win American victory in the Pacific.  

In 1989, Zonnie Gorman embarked on a personal journey to discover that part of her father who was one of the original Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.  With a love of history, her journey has led her through a lifetime of research, interviews and archiving on the subject of Navajo Code Talkers and World War II. In fact, Zonnie conducted the first extensive interviews with the First Twenty-Nine Navajo Code Talkers and one of the Marine Corps recruiters involved with the Navajo Code Talker project. 

Consequently, Zonnie shares a touching story about the Navajo Code Talkers, and particularly about her father's role as one of the First Twenty-Nine.  In addition, you will experience the Navajo reservation of the 1940s, the U.S. Government policy of Assimilation to eradicate indigenous languages and cultures and learn how the code was made.  Zonnie's personal insights, well researched information and wry humor combine to offer a poignant, eye-opening and stirringly patriotic presentation.


See the lecture trailer

Zonnie Gorman Trailer, Navajo Code Talkers World War II, American Program Bureau

Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima
— Major Howard Connor, signal officer of the Navajos at Iwo Jima

Hear Zonnie Speak about her Research