TITLE: Journey to Freedom: The Boat People Retrospective (Morning Session)
EVENT DATE: 05/02/2009
RUNNING TIME: 122 minutes
In the years following the Vietnam War, more than 1 million refugees fled the war-ravaged countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Those who took to the ocean in small, overcrowded ships were dubbed the "boat people." Many perished on the seas, some at the hands of pirates, while others took refuge in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia. By the late 1970s and 1980s, the United States, Canada and other nations accepted many of those who survived the refugee camps. Scholars, community leaders and former refugees discussed the topic in four sessions: "Historical Background," "Exodus," "Rescue and Hospitality" and "Remembering Who We Are and Where We Have Been." Senator James Webb (D-Va.) delivered the opening keynote address.