November 8, 2002 Library of Congress's Veterans History Project Honors Veterans Nationwide

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Veterans History Project (202) 707-4916

The Veterans History Project, coordinated by the Library of Congress through its American Folklife Center, calls for Americans to play a personal role in preserving the nation's history by collecting first-person accounts of those who defended the United States during wartime. The Library is archiving audio- and video-recorded oral histories, along with documentary materials (such as photos, diaries, letters), from veterans of World War I, World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars as well as from civilians who served in support of the veterans. For more information, visit

Almost 19 million war veterans live in America today, but more than 1,600 die each day--there is an urgent need to preserve their stories now.

To honor veterans and their contributions to American history and freedom, Congress unanimously passed legislation, which was signed into law on Oct. 27, 2000 (P.L. 106-380), creating the Veterans History Project. This national, continuing effort will serve as a valuable resource to teach all Americans and future generations about the rich legacy of military service and about civilians who supported wartime efforts.

Get Involved

The Veterans History Project provides an opportunity for all generations of American families to connect, and allows citizens to actively volunteer to preserve American history. This project makes a timely Veterans Day (Monday, Nov. 11) story.

Daily, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project receives applications from organizations across the country to become official partners. Currently there are 460 national and local partners. A list of the project's partners can be viewed at

Below are some examples of programs and events coordinated by Official Veterans History Project Partners around the country:

Chattanooga, Tenn.
Contact: Sarah Bowen 423-267-5412 x172
On Nov. 11, Chattanooga will launch its official partnership with the Veterans History Project. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and local veterans will speak at a press conference and urge people to get involved. A local hospital has committed to providing interview space and equipment for a 30-month project.

Clarksburg, W.Va.
Contact: Diane Davis, 304-627-2236
The Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library, local television station WBOY and Fairmont State College are partnering together to produce a week-long celebration for veterans. They have collected more than 40 oral stories of World War II veterans. The library is planning an event to screen interviews of veterans and the local television station will show portions of the taped interviews during news broadcasts.

Bedford, Va.
Contact: April Cheek, 540-586-3329
The National D-Day Memorial Foundation will conduct two ceremonies at the site of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford on Veterans Day. As an official partner, they will distribute materials about the Veterans History Project and encourage veterans to record their story.

Waynesville, Ohio
Contact: Linda McMaken, 513-897-4826
To honor Veterans Day, the Mary L. Cook Public Library will create a display of memorabilia collected in conjunction with the Veterans History Project. More than 40 veterans have been interviewed and hundreds of items have been collected.

Indianapolis, Ind.
Contact: Kathryn Lerch, 317-415-2700 x03102
The Park Tudor School will host a book-signing of "Words of War: Wartime Memories from the Civil War Through the Gulf War" at a public library in Greenfield. The school has already collected 46 oral stories by students from the Western civilization class. Trainers from Sen. Richard G. Lugar's (R-Ind.) office have been instrumental in assisting this project. On Veterans Day, Lugar will participate in the local parade and will speak at a ceremony.

Paoli, Ind.
Contact: Andy Fisher (202) 224-4814
Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.)--one of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project's biggest supporters--has teamed up with students of Paoli to collect veterans' stories for the Library's collection. On Nov. 10, some of these veterans will be honored at a dinner.

Farwell, Mich.
Contact: Jean Gaskill, 989-588-0094
The Surrey Township Public Library will launch their official partnership with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project on Veterans Day and is planning to schedule interviews throughout the day. The project involves the Library Teen Council.

Lansing, Mich.
Contact: Geneva Kebler Wiskemann, 517-321-1746
The Michigan Oral History Association (MOHA), Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries, Michigan State University Museum's folklife unit and other organizations will host an all-day oral history workshop on Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10. MOHA will support the Friends of Michigan History with an annual reorganization of veterans focusing this year on Vietnam veterans.

Mountain Green, Utah
Contact: Rick Lindsay, 801-876-4079
The Pacific Theater Project is creating a library of broadcast-quality digital video interviews with Pacific theater WWII veterans, and two series of educational documentaries. The Digital Video Library of WWII Pacific Theater Veterans is to be located in the Center for Pacific War Studies at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Tex. The Pacific Theater Project has created and will distribute a series of public service announcements about the Veterans History Project on Veterans Day.

New York, N.Y.
Contact: Nina Blackwell, 212-688-6262.
Senator Clinton will hold a Veterans History Project event at 1:30 PM on Veterans Day at the Manhattan VA at VA Medical Center: Manhattan Campus of Harbor Health Care, 423 E. 23rd St., (at 23rd and 1st Ave.) Afterwards she will hold a press conference, highlighting the project and federal funding for VA hospitals.

Sacramento, Calif.
Contact: Peggy Fontenot 310-396-3660 (America's Veterans) and Jennifer Dart 703-201-3796 (AARP)
Members of America's Veterans will attend local ceremonies to conduct interviews to be submitted to the Library of Congress collection. AARP members and California veterans groups will also participate in "Veterans Voices of California," a program hosted by the Library of Congress and AARP, the Project's founding sponsor. The program will provide an overview of the VHP and how to conduct an oral history.


PR 02-165
ISSN 0731-3527