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May 25, 2005

Library of Congress contacts: Anneliesa Clump Behrend [email protected]; Helen Dalrymple [email protected]

Public Contact: (888) 371-5848


To mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II this Memorial Day, the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) has planned a variety of activities, including interviews of veterans, presentation of stories from the collection assembled to date, and an advertising campaign to urge the general public to participate in this nationwide, volunteer effort to collect and preserve veterans’ stories. The project is associated with the Library’s American Folklife Center.

Earlier this month, in a joint appearance with Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in Indianapolis, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) announced that his office has collected the memories of more than 5,000 Indiana veterans that are now part of the permanent collection at the Library of Congress. Billington presented the senator with a plaque thanking him for his efforts and, at a second event, thanked the Indiana volunteers who had helped to collect the veterans’ stories.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams has proclaimed May 2005 as “Veterans History Project Month” and helped to launch a cooperative public service advertising campaign to promote the Library’s grassroots project on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (METRO) bus and rail system.

Volunteers from the Library of Congress and members of the National Court Reporters Association will interview Vietnam War veteran aviators and former Prisoners of War (POWs) during the Red River Valley/NAMPOW Reunion at the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., from May 26 through May 28, in an effort coordinated by Everett Alvarez. Alvarez, the first POW and one of the longest held in the Vietnam War, serves on the Veterans History Project advisory Five Star Council. For more information about the reunion, contact Mimi Drew at (302) 537-2559.

On May 26 Library of Congress staff will interview members of one of the most colorful groups in World War II, the Flying Tigers.

A one-hour special titled “More Than Love Stories,” drawn from the oral histories gathered by the Veterans History Project, will be aired on and around Memorial Day on Public Radio International (PRI) affiliate stations around the country. Check local listings for air dates and times. “More Than Love Stories” is the third program in the VHP’s acclaimed Experiencing War series. Former U.S. Senator Max Cleland is host of this series, which is created and produced by Lee Woodman.

On May 26 the Veterans History Project and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a half-day symposium titled “War’s End: Eyewitness to History,” from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Benjamin Ferencz, an Army officer who served as prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, will deliver the keynote address. More information on the program, which is free and open to the public, is available on the Library’s Web site, http://www.loc.gov/.

The Veterans History Project works with high school students, veteran service organizations, museums, libraries and historical institutions to organize volunteers to record veterans’ stories. Retirement communities are also becoming directly involved by joining the Veterans History Project’s Retirement Community Outreach Initiative (RCOI) to record the firsthand recollections of veterans.

Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History Project are encouraged to request a project kit by e-mailing [email protected]. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project Web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/ or by calling the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.

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PR 05-132
ISSN 0731-3527

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