In early 2019, the Library of Congress launched a year-long initiative inviting visitors to explore America’s changemakers through a series of exhibitions, events, and programs. Here, the Veterans History Project explores the stories of military changemakers: veterans who broke new ground and boundaries, on and off the battlefield. In addition to honorably serving their country, these men and women challenged the status quo and struggled against oppression, injustice, and society’s expectations. Many of them won citations, high ranks, or the title of “first,” but more importantly, their accomplishments forged new ground for future generations.
Breaking Ground and Boundaries: Veteran Changemakers
personal narrativeTimuel D. Black, Jr. Collection Private First Class, Army, World War, 1939-1945 - European Theater; Normandy, France; Northern France; Ardennes; Rhineland, Germany.
- Contributor: Black, Timuel - Donna Chafins - National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) - Richardson, Lorene - Black Jr., Timuel D.
personal narrativeLauren Arnett Campbell Collection Staff Sergeant, Air Force, Afghan War, 2001- - Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Helmand Region, Afghanistan; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
- Contributor: Messamore, Kyle - Campbell, Lauren Arnett - University of Central Florida, Special Collections & University Archives
personal narrativeHolly R. Harrison Collection Lieutenant Commander, Coast Guard, Iraq War, 2003-2011 - Manama, Bahrain; Khawr Abd Allah River; Al Faw Peninsula; Khawr Al Amaya; Mina Al Baker Oil Terminals; Kodiak, Alaska; Hilo, Hawaii; Washington, DC; Yorktown,...
- Contributor: Harrison, Holly R. - Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc. (Wimsa) - Scott, Kathleen - Reborchuk, Margaret
- Date: 1991
personal narrativePompey L. Hawkins Collection Army Air Forces/Corps, World War, 1939-1945 - Chanute Field, Illinois; Keesler Field, Mississippi; Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama; Miami Beach, Florida; Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
- Contributor: Laura Mountain - Hawkins, Pompey L. - U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar - Lugar, Richard - Clanin, Douglas - National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
- Date: 1941
personal narrativeDarlene M. Iskra Collection Commander, Navy, Persian Gulf War, 1991 - Alameda, California; San Diego, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Washington, DC; Port Said, Egypt; Guam (Mariana Islands).
- Contributor: Iskra, Darlene M. - Alison R. Spack - Library of Congress - Mears, Rachel - Veterans History Project - National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
- Date: 1979
personal narrativeEvelyn Clarisse Johnson Collection Staff Sergeant, WAC (Women's Army Corps), World War, 1939-1945 - European Theater; England; France.
- Contributor: Johnson, Evelyn Clarisse Martin - Weatherby, Cynthia - U.S. House of Representatives/C.W. Bill Young - Young, C.W.
- Date: 1942
- Resource: Interview / Recording - Video - 00:30:33.5
personal narrativeFranklin E. Kameny Collection Private First Class, Army, World War, 1939-1945 - Fort Benning, Georgia; Camp Polk, Louisiana; Tidworth Barracks, England; Normandy, France; Roermond, Netherlands; Germany; Czechoslovakia.
- Contributor: American Veterans for Equal Rights (Aver) - Ballard, Lara - Kameny, Franklin E. - Westbrook, Joel
- Date: 1943
- Resource: Interview / Recording - Video - 00:59:03.3
personal narrativeKatharine Lenora Laughton Collection Navy, Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Vietnam. Persian Gulf War, 1991 - Persian Gulf.
- Contributor: Laughton, Katharine Lenora - Bird, Erin - National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) - La Plata High School - Hasemeier, Mary - Iris I. Dillion
- Date: 1963
- Resource: Interview / Recording - Audio - 00:29:00.0
personal narrativeKurt Chew-Een Lee Collection Sergeant, Marine Corps, World War, 1939-1945 - San Diego, Vallejo, and Camp Pendleton, California; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Quantico, Virginia; China; Philadelphia. Marine Corps, Korean War, 1950-1953 - Korea. Major, Marine Corps,...
- Contributor: Lee, Kurt Chew-Een - Morosoff, Serge - U.S. House of Representatives/Mike Conoway - Thomas J. Wiener - Conoway, Mike
- Date: 1944
personal narrativeMelvin T. Pender, Jr. Collection Captain, Army, Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Vietnam; Okinawa, Japan; Korea; West Point, New York; Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- Contributor: Pender Jr., Melvin T. - Atlanta History Center - Jones, Gordon - Bruckner, William
- Date: 1955
- Resource: Interview / Recording - Video - 01:41:47.0
personal narrativeJerry Lynn Ross Collection Colonel, Air Force, Cold War - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Texas.
- Contributor: Smith, Anne - Ross, Jerry Lynn - Braud-Jones, Alice - Daughters of the American Revolution, Sam Houston Chapter
- Date: 1972
- Resource: Interview / Recording - Video - 01:19:49.0
personal narrativeMaria C. Villescas Collection Sergeant, Marine Corps, Persian Gulf War, 1991 - Camp Pendleton, California; Okinawa, Iwakuni, Japan; Saudi Arabia; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
- Contributor: The Center (the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center) - Unknown Interviewer - Villescas, Maria C.
- Date: 1983
- Resource: Interview / Recording - Video - 00:54:49.0