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Intrigued by codes, ciphers and those who break them? The PBS mystery Bletchley Circle introduced a new audience to the fascinating world of decryption.

Susan, Mille, Lucy and Jean harness all their experience gained as codebreakers at Bletchley Park to find a killer. Bletchley Park is an estate and at one time, ground zero for English codebreaking activities during WWII. Much of the success of decrypting German ciphers at Bletchley Park is attributed to an Allied effort in the development of the Engima machine with the help of Alan Turing. Turing, a mathematical genius, also helped develop secure voice transmissions (Delilah) and the modern computer.

Across the pond, the U.S. military were seeking a way to speed up message encryption to troops fighting in the Pacific. The Navajo Code Talker test program was implemented because the Navajo language was considered indecipherable. Originally 29 code talkers were recruited and trained. Upon completion of extensive training, the code talkers were sent to various Marine regiments in the Pacific. Their work saved many lives but because their work was classified, the Navajo Code Talkers did not receive Congressional Medals of Honor until 2001.

There is no challenge too great for some of the world's toughest codebreakers. So next time conversations with coworkers or family seem indecipherable, take heart! The Library has many compelling stories to share about overcoming the insurmountable.

Written by Laurie. on June 4, 2013


Lisa F. on June 5, 2013


I think the Navajo are pretty amazing - the language, the blankets at the Art Museum, not to mention their fry bread. I feel pretty good when I get the Sunday Jumble, myself.

Laurie. on June 8, 2013


Me too!

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