September 25, 2002 Rep. Joe Baca to Encourage Hispanic Veterans' Histories

Veterans History Project Seeks Hispanic Veterans' Histories

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (888) 371-5848

Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) will speak at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at noon in the Mumford Room, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. in Washington, D.C. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Baca will speak about his military and public service and will encourage the Hispanic community to honor veterans by recording their stories for the Veterans History Project. The Library of Congress' Veterans History Project has issued a call to action to Hispanic veterans on the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month to contribute their wartime memories and experiences. The Oct. 1 program is free and open to the public.

"Now, during Hispanic Heritage Month, there is no more fitting time to honor our nation's Latino veterans and no better way to preserve the memories of those who have served us in wartime," Baca said. "We ask everyone to volunteer a little time during Hispanic Heritage Month to help by interviewing Latino veterans in their communities."

Baca is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with both the 101st and the 82nd Airborne Divisions from 1966-68. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1999 in a special election, and was re-elected to a full two-year term in November 2000. He is an active member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, where he serves as caucus whip. Before coming to Washington, Baca served in the California Legislature for seven years. After his election to the California Assembly in 1992, he was elected speaker pro tempore, the first Hispanic to hold the position since California joined the Union in 1850.

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 reated by Congress in bi-partisan legislation which passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate in October 2000.

Individuals, family members, veterans, civic groups and organizations that are willing to interview veterans are invited to contact the Veterans History Project, where staff will provide guidance and information. The resulting audio or videotapes and related documentary material collected from veterans will be preserved at the Library of Congress as part of the permanent record of the nation's history. Those who would like to participate are encouraged to call the toll-free message line, (888) 371-5848, to request a project kit or to e-mail the office at


PR 02-134
ISSN 0731-3527