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"On This Date in History" Calendar

1982: Navajo Code Talkers Day Declared

Wednesday, August 14, 2024

14 August 1982: President Ronald Reagan declared this day Navajo Code Talkers Day.

The U.S. military in #WWI and #WWII developed code talking programs in which Native Americans used their own languages to communicate secret messages on the battlefield. The Comanche, Choctaw, and Navajo Tribes were used most frequently as code talkers, but members of other tribes such as Creek, Pawnee, Cherokee, Menomonee, Chippewa, and Hopi contributed. In 1982, President Reagan declared 8/14 National #NavajoCodeTalkersDay. Each year #OTD, National Navajo Code Talkers Day honors the contributions of the Native Americans who brought their unique abilities to the war efforts. Today, we recognize all of the tribes involved in code talking.

Native American Code Talkers (as an entire group) were inducted into the NSA Cryptologic Hall of Honor in 2013. The official plaque presentation took place in April 2014. Read about this event and view their Hall of Honor page via the links below. Also, visit the NCM's virtual Navajo Code Talkers' exhibit via the Virmuze link below. Learn about the physical exhibit at the NCM that highlighted not only the Navajo and Comanche Code Talkers of WWII, but also the Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI. See links below.

From The story of the Navajo Code Talkers begins in 1940 when a small group of Chippewas and Oneidas became a part of the radio communications 32nd Infantry Division. Soon after, Sac and Fox tribes joined in the ranks as combat radiomen. The complexity of Navajo linguistics allowed it to become an ideal choice to be used in code due to the lack of documentation made available for learning to speak the language and ability for the same words to mean multiple things based on sound. The legacy of the Navajo Code Talkers will continue as many documentary and stories have been shared about their journey since it’s declassification during Reagan’s Administration.


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