The VHP, in partnership with AARP and the History
Center in Atlanta, Georgia, commemorated D-Day by
honoring local veterans. Distinguished participants included
VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi, Governor Sonny Perdue, VHP
Georgia partners and AARP representatives. Five veterans talked
about their experiences: Lt. Col. Charles W. Dryden (Ret.),
a Tuskegee Airman; Bob "Punchy" Powell, an Army
Air Corps fighter pilot in World War II; Helen Denton, who
typed the battle plans for the invasion of France; Brig.
Gen. (Ret.) Harold Dye, who helped liberate Buchenwald
concentration camp; and Jack Brice, an AARP board member
and manager of the OIC, AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) during
the Vietnam War. VHP partner organizations in Georgia who attended
the event included the 555 Parachute Infantry Association ("Triple
Nickles"), Prater's Mill Historical Society, Americans
Remembered, Inc., and the Secretary of State of Georgia. U.S.
Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah launched the project in his district
on May 29.
Memorial Day, 2003, was different from many in the
past years in that it clearly reflected a renewed national
awareness of the sacrifices made by those who serve by defending
On Memorial Day, personal stories of American veterans came
alive on our Web site. Under the headings of Courage, Patriotism,
and Community, twenty-one fully digitized collections
of materials submitted by veterans and civilians were made
available for the first time on the Library of Congress Web
site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/ or http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/.
More information is available in the VHP Presents: Experiencing
War section of this newsletter.
VHP's annual Partner meeting in May saw over ninety
persons from seventy plus partner organizations gather in the
historic Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. After
a morning bus tour of the Korean, Vietnam, and Women in Military
Service war memorials, partners joined VHP Five Star Council
members for a working lunch. The afternoon was spent discussing
strategies and creative solutions for generating interviews,
obtaining funding and equipment, as well as pairing compatible
interviewers and interviewees.
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA),
a Partner of the Veterans History Project, is working on a
pilot program to transcribe audio cassettes submitted to the
Veterans History Project, and has already completed a number
of transcriptions. "This is a great example of an organization
using its resources and talents to participate in a meaningful
way," said Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, director of the
Veterans History Project. NCRA, a 25,000-member organization,
is committed to providing comprehensive and accurate information
for the benefit of the public and private sectors. If you would
like more information about NCRA, please visit them on the
Web at http://www.ncraonline.org.
- If your contact information has changed since you
filed your partner form, please let us know by calling 202-707-4916,
fax 202-252-2046, e-mail email@example.com,
or write to the Veterans History Project, American Folklife
Center 101 Independence Avenue, SE Washington DC 20540-4615
- Please note that mail is still slow due to security measures.
Other means of communication are recommended.
Five Star Council Profile:
Lieutenant General Julius W. Becton
Gen. Julius W. Becton's distinguished public service
career includes nearly 40 years in the U. S. Army. He is a
graduate of top military schools, including the Army's
Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College,
and the National War College. He holds several honorary doctoral
degrees and is the recipient of many other honors and awards.
Gen. Becton entered active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps
in July 1944 and graduated from Infantry OCS in 1945. A veteran
of three wars-World War II, Korea, and Vietnam - he
served in various positions at many posts. Overseas duty carried
him to Germany, France, the Southwest Pacific including the
Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. One of his key duty
assignments included command of the 1st Cavalry Division.
Gen. Becton has served as director of the Office of U.S. Foreign
Disaster Assistance AID, director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, COO for the American Coastal Industries,
and president of Prairie View A&M University. From 1989 to
1994, Becton was chairman of the Science and Engineering Alliance,
director of the National Association for Equal Opportunity
in Higher Education, and director of the Boy Scouts of America,
Sam Houston Area Council. Finally, Becton served as the superintendent
of District of Columbia Public Schools from 1996 to 1998.
African American History Month
The Veterans History project was proud to cosponsor veteran
journalist and three-time Emmy-award winner Renee
Poussaint at the Library of Congress African American History
Month in February. Ms. Poussaint highlighted the stories of
African American Veterans in the National Visionary Leadership
Project (NVLP) collections. NVLP is an organization
cofounded by Dr. Camille Cosby and Ms. Poussaint. The NVLP
is a national effort to encourage leadership potential by recording
and preserving the oral histories of African American elders.
The videotaped interviews are available for viewing at http://www.visionaryproject.com and
at the NVLP's research library located in Washington,
Women's History Month
Veterans History Project staff featured VHP's collections
at an open house "Salute to Women" celebrating Women's
History Month at the Library of Congress in March. The multimedia
presentation showcased materials submitted by, and on behalf
of, women who served in the Armed Forces or in support of the
war effort in World War I, World War II, the Korean, Vietnam,
and Persian Gulf Wars.
Did you know that:
"Women have served in the American armed forces for almost
100 hundred years-since 1901-when the Army Nurse
Corps was established. The Navy Nurse Corps soon followed in
Women who were not nurses were first enlisted in the Navy
and Marine Corps during World War I. Only nurses served in
the Army during this war; but the Army did hire about
200 civilian women who were fluent in both English and French
to serve as telephone operators. These women, often referred
to as the 'Hello Girls,' were later given veterans' status."
For more information: http://www.gordon.army.mil/OCOS/Museum/hlogrl.asp
The independent, nonprofit Women's Research & Education
Institute has just published the Fourth Edition of Women
in the Military: Where They Stand.
Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month
Francis Y. Sogi, Esq., member of the VHP's Five
Star Council, and veteran of World War II, highlighted the
stories of Asian American veterans in May at a kick-off
event for the Library's commemoration of Asian and Pacific
American Heritage Month. Mr. Sogi's selections pointed
out the irony that Japanese American soldiers had family members
interned in the United States, while they in turn liberated
concentration camp victims in Europe. Born in Hawaii, Mr. Sogi
joined the Military Intelligence Service in 1944. He served
with the Counter Intelligence Corps, rising to the rank of
Bob Hope's 100th Birthday
Library of Congress Celebration
On May 22, the Library of Congress celebrated the 100th birthday
of Bob Hope with a reprise of vaudeville, Broadway, and USO
tours to entertain the troops. In a special segment, Peggy
Bulger, director of the American Folklife Center, interviewed
Tony Hope as well as famous dancers Fayard Nicholas and Patty
Thomas who shared their memories of tours made with Bob Hope
during WWII, as well as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The Library
of Congress acquired the Bob Hope Collection in 1998 and opened
the permanent "Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment" in
2000. For more information please visit http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bobhope.
- At the end of May, the number of VHP partners topped 700,
and the total of individual submissions reached the 7,000
mark. The actual number of items is in the 20,000 range.
Since the beginning of the year, Sen. John McCain and Veterans
Affairs secretary Anthony J. Principi were interviewed for
the Veterans History Project.
- The VHP Web site logged over 50,000 hits around Memorial
Day thanks to wonderful publicity by congressional offices,
CBS, CNN, radio, as well as national and local press.
The Veterans History Project can now provide you with Web-ready
graphics featuring the VHP logo. The link below displays four
graphics: the standard VHP logo (one size),
and a new version of the logo with an American flag background
and the words "official partner" (three sizes).
HTML code has been provided for each graphic, and you may simply
copy the code and paste it into your HTML document for your
Please refer to our logo policy about use of these graphics
and feel free to contact us if you have questions.
To arrange a free oral interview workshop in your area, please
call our Training Coordinator, David Albee, at 202-707-3410
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org with
the date, place, and time you would like to host a workshop;
indicate how many participants you will have (a group
of about 20 to 30 is suggested); and who the partner
organization contact will be.
Noted illustrator and author Tracy Sugarman donated his collection
of drawings from World War II to the Library of Congress June
18. As he walked away from handing his important materials
to the nation, Mr. Sugarman said he felt he was giving us "his
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Five Star Council Profile
Members of Congress Share their Wartime Stories
The Veterans History Project conducted its second annual congressional
briefing in March. Over 50 congressional offices were represented.
We encourage partners to contact their local representatives
to inform them of efforts to collect veterans' stories.
The following Members of Congress have already recorded their
wartime stories for the VHP collection at the Library of Congress:
- Hon. Joe Baca, U.S. Representative, California (43rd
- Hon. Leonard L. Boswell, U.S. Representative, Iowa (3rd
- Hon. Steve Buyer, U.S. Representative, Indiana (4th
- Hon. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Senator, Delaware
- Hon. Max Cleland, Former U.S. Senator, Georgia
- Hon. Rodney Frelinghuysen, U.S. Representative, New Jersey (11th
- Hon. Martin Frost, U.S. Representative, Texas (24th
- Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman, Former U.S. Representative, New
York (20th District)
- Hon. Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator, Nebraska
- Hon. Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator, Iowa
- Hon. Amo Houghton, U.S. Representative, New York (29th
- Hon. Sam Johnson, U.S. Representative, Texas (3rd
- Hon. Jim Kolbe, U.S. Representative, Arizona (8th
- Hon. John McCain, U.S. Senator, Arizona
Interviewed by Michelle Kelly, Battleship Massachusetts, with support
- Hon. Stevan Pearce, U.S. Representative, New Mexico (2nd
- Hon. Joe Pitts, U.S. Representative, Pennsylvania (16th
- Hon. Edward Schrock, U.S. Representative, Virginia (2nd
The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association is
holding a reunion in Washington, D.C. this October, and is
trying to locate veterans associated with the project. For
more information about the reunion, please contact Executive
Director Michael Vickio at 607-535-5596, or e-mail
him at email@example.com.
The mission of The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation
Assoc., Inc., is to preserve the historical importance of the
Manhattan Project, to recognize and memorialize the efforts
of the Manhattan Project veterans, and to promote the safe
and beneficial use of atomic energy. Web site:
Please send us information about your upcoming events,
and if you would like Veterans History Project materials (i.e.,
brochures, book marks, buttons) sent for distribution, please
give us ample time to mail these. We are interested in
hearing about upcoming reunions, public programs, and celebrations.
Announcements can be sent to Anneliesa Clump at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Subscription to Folklife Center News
The Veterans History Project is part of the American Folklife
Center. If you are interested in American folklife, the subscription
to the Folklife Center News magazine is free. To subscribe,
please contact the Center with your name and postal address.
They may be reached at: email@example.com or
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress 101 Independence
Avenue, SE Washington, D.C. 20540--610.
VHP Presents: Experiencing
"Every veteran has his or her own war, and each is custodian
of a unique story and memories," opens the brand new VHP
Web site presentation of personal narratives culled from the
7,000 collections the Veterans History Project has received
to date. The interviews, letters, photographs and written memoirs
covering themes of "courage, patriotism and community" can
be heard and read on-line at http://www.loc.gov/vets or http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories.
Rhona Marie "Ronnie" Knox Prescott served in the U.S.
Army Nurse Corps in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975. In triage, it
was her job to decide... "Let that one go; put that
one on the table; this one can wait..." In her interview
with Judith Kent, a volunteer at the Flagler County (Florida) Public
Library, Prescott recalls that it was "like playing God...
there was no one else to do it."
Violet Hill Gordon of Chicago enlisted during World
War II with her best friend, Mildred Osby, to join the Women's
Auxiliary Army. Gordon, an African-American, entered the
segregated Army and was eventually promoted to commanding officer
in the 6888th Central Postal Directory.
John W. Earle from Dryden, New York, served four years
as Special Services Officer in the 14th Infantry, 71st Division
of the Army. Earle kept up a lengthy correspondence with his
mother, grandmother and other members of his family. His letters - readable
online - regale us with his extraordinary efforts to provide
entertainment for the troops in service.
Other veterans featured on the site include: Corbin
B. Willis Jr.; Sen. Chuck Hagel; William Valentine
Loncaric; Sen. Max Cleland; William Jennings Arnett; Bruce
Donald Fenchel; Rep. Steve Buyer; Rep. Joe Baca; James
Walsh; Sen. Tom Carper; Isabelle Cook; Rep.
Benjamin Gilman; Ben M. Snyder; Patricia Seawalt; Patricia
Lala; Sally Hitchcock Pullman; John Caspar Wister; Rep.
"This project is a catalyst," said Lee Woodman,
executive producer of the new story site. "Through it
individuals realize how their experiences are distinct and
priceless, and that they too might have a story to share."
Sheila Lichtenstein of the Leisure World Historical
Society in Laguna Woods, California, reports the following:
"The Leisure World Historical Society is in full swing
in our Veterans Project. We are now finishing our 45th tape
and we think they are getting better each time. Each story
is more exciting than the next. It has taught us that we can
find the historical facts about each World War II battle by
going to either a history book or the Internet, but the visceral,
straight from the gut story about actually living in the midst
of that battle is the story our video tapes tell.
We are very fortunate to have the greatest group of volunteers.
The Video Club of Leisure World has volunteered all their facilities
and their video buffs at the disposal of this labor of love
project. We have two fabulous schedulers, Tobey Greenspan and
Caroline Epstein, who bring together the Veteran, the Interviewer,
and the Video club for our many tapings. We have over 700 Veterans
registered and in the data bank of our World War II project
and we are rushing to get as many as possible on tape. The
Historical Society of Leisure World, Laguna Woods, California,
has been generous with their support of the Veterans History
Project. With all this support we are able to bring to this
project the unheard of voices of the aging group of WWII veterans."
* * * * *
For the second year, the Veterans History Project will present
and participate in AARP's national conference for
its members and guests. "Life@50+: A Celebration
of You" will take place September 5-7, 2003 in Chicago.
For more information, go to http://www.aarp.org/events/.
Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library
of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4615
Newsletter email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter contributors: Anneliesa Clump, Jim Hardin,
Nancy Mitchell, Tim Roberts, Sarah Rouse, Virginia Sorkin,