November 8, 2001 Librarian of Congress Inaugurates Council to Lead Veterans History Project

First National Collection of Veterans' Personal Accounts

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189; Debbie Drucker, Fleishman-Hillard (202) 828-8872

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington will announce 100 partners participating in the Veterans History Project and the founding sponsorship by AARP, the nation's leading organization for people 50 and over, at the first meeting of the Five-Star Council on Thursday, November 8 at 10:30 a.m. in the Members Room of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E.

The Five-Star Council, a group of prominent leaders -- veterans, elected officials, historians, and journalists -- each with a relevant personal connection to this endeavor, who are providing leadership and counsel for the project, will be introduced by the Librarian. Council members available for comment on November 8 are: Francis Sogi, Chairman of the National Japanese-American Monument Foundation; Retired Lt. General Julius Becton; Retired Major General USAF Jeanne Holm; Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi; former Rep. Sam Gibbons; Tuskegee airman Lt. Colonel Lee Archer; and Tony Hope, son of USO entertainers Bob and Dolores Hope.

The Veterans History Project is a project of the Library of Congress through its American Folklife Center to collect and preserve oral histories and documentary materials from veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Wars. The project was created by Congress late last year in legislation sponsored by Sen. Max Cleland and Sen. Chuck Hagel, and Rep. Ron Kind, Rep. Amo Houghton, and Rep. Steny Hoyer. The legislation passed unanimously, and was signed into law by President Clinton on October 27, 2000 (P.L. 106-380).

The project receives and archives video- and audio-taped and written accounts, as well as letters, diaries and photographs from war veterans and civilians who served to support them.

Details about AARP's gift and the organization's involvement in this national grassroots effort to collect veterans' histories also will be announced.

All media wishing to attend the meeting should call (202) 828-8872. For additional information abut the Veterans History Project, visit the Web site at


PR 01-163
ISSN 0731-3527