May 18, 2010 Veterans History Project Explores Integration of the U.S. Armed Forces Through the Service of Asian-Pacific American Veterans

Contact: Jeffrey Lofton (202) 707-6432; Jamie Stevenson (202)707-8314

Asian-Pacific American veterans will explore their service experiences and discuss the Korean War as a turning point in military policy and civil-rights history – when service units were fully integrated – during a panel discussion at noon on Tuesday, May 25, in the Whittall Pavilion of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 1st S.E., Washington, D.C.

Hosted by The Veterans History Project (VHP) in the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, this event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“VHP houses the remarkable stories of hundreds of Asian-American war veterans, and we are eager to host this discussion of the armed forces integration experience during the 60th anniversary of the Korean War,” said VHP Director Bob Patrick.

President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948, which states, “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

Christopher Yung from the National Defense University will moderate the discussion. Veteran panelists include Maj. Kurt C.E. Lee, the first Asian-American officer in the United States Marine Corps and Navy Cross recipient; Spc. Peter Young, U.S. Army, chief of the Library of Congress Asian Division; and Capt. John Whang, Marine Corps, who served three tours in Iraq and was recently featured in Fortune Magazine as the New Warrior Elite. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) is scheduled to attend.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website,, and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

Congress created The Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center ( to record, preserve and make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American wartime veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. More than 68,000 individual stories comprise the collection to date. The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at Volunteer interviewers may request information at or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news.


PR 10-117
ISSN 0731-3527