John Baird, World War II veteran at the World War II Memorial, St. Paul, Minnesota. John has chosen to remember and honor his father with an endowment in his name.
John and Nancy Baird have a special sense of the importance of history. Perhaps that is what drew them to the Minnesota Historical Society, which now is the repository for their family history, many artifacts, and these two fine portraits of two Edward Brewer oil portraits of John's parents, Julian B. Baird and Helen Hall Baird.
John, a World War II veteran has much to tell about his experience as a B17 gunner, including a dramatic recalling of Mission Number 10, Sunday October 15, 1944, when his plane was repeatedly hit with flak resulting in a severe foot wound that ended his military service. John has said with his usual humor, "If it hadn't been for the war my stay in England would have been very pleasant."
Left, Brian Szott Curator of Art, Right, John Baird."
In addition to these contributions to the Historical Society, John and Nancy have established the "Julian B. Baird Fund" in the Society's endowment. The fund honors the remarkable banking career and community legacy of his father. His banking career at First National Bank included his election as President in 1945 and as Chairman of the Board in 1954, a post he held until his retirement. In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed Mr. Baird as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs, a position he held until 1960.The Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce honored him as a "Great Living Saint Paulite" in 1957.
John's and Nancy's gift will honor his memory and through his endowment in perpetuity.