MANJIRO IN AMERICA: HOW FAIRHAVEN, MA SHAPED US/JAPAN HISTORY
With Speaker Gerald P. Rooney, President & CEO of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society
You may know the John Manjiro story from the 1840s, when a young Japanese castaway was found and rescued by American whaling ship captain William Whitfield. Young Manjiro was welcomed as a son by Whitfield and raised for a few years in Fairhaven MA. This remarkable man - who returned to Japan as a fluent English speaker - became critical to the US/Japan relationship when Commodore Perry arrived in Yokohama harbor in 1853. This powerful historical story of a personal friendship impacting global peace has inspired thousands of people to visit Fairhaven. For years, Gerry Rooney has been dedicated to preserving these historic sites.
Mr. Rooney will engage us in conversation about the Manjiro/Whitfield story, about the historic sites today, and about how friendship still forms the foundation of peace in our world.