Thursday, May 05, 2011

70th anniversary of Civilian Public Service is to be celebrated.

May 15 is the 70th anniversary of the first Civilian Public Service (CPS) camp opening in Patapsco, Md. A special celebration is being planned and is open to the public. Sponsors are the Church of the Brethren, the Mennonite Central Committee US, the Center on Conscience and War, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Kansas Committee for a CPS Memorial.

The event will include a picnic lunch, the launch of a new CPS website featuring a database of all CPS workers and camps, brief remarks by sponsoring agencies, CPS alumni and historians, and a visit to the Patapsco CPS Camp site in Patapsco Valley State Park. The picnic will begin at 1 p.m. at Relay Town Hall, 1710 Arlington Ave., Relay, Md.

The CPS Memorial Website Project team of archivists includes Terrell Barkley, director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives; the late Ken Shaffer, former director of the BHLA; Wendy Chmielewski, George Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection; Rich Preheim, director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee; John Thiesen of the Mennonite Historical Library and Archives; Anne Yoder, archivist for the Swarthmore College Peace Collection; and from Lewis & Clark College, Paul Merchant and Doug Erickson. Others doing content review include J. Kenneth Kreider, professor emeritus, History, at Elizabethtown College. Jonathan Keeney, a Brethren member from Elgin, Ill., was hired by the project to scan images for all the CPS units/camps from the CPS photo collection in the BHLA.

Those interested in attending the celebration are requested to RSVP by May 11 to Titus Peachey at or 717-859-1151. For detailed directions, see

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