Veterans History Project
The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center (commonly known as the Veterans History Project) was created by the United States Congress in 2000 to collect and preserve the firsthand remembrances of U.S. wartime veterans. Its mandate ensures future generations may hear directly from those who served to better understand the realities of war.
The program is conducted through Congressional offices and relies on a national network of veteran service organizations, universities, secondary schools, community groups and the general public to record interviews according to program guidelines. These and original letters, diaries, photos, memoirs and historic documents related to a veteran's wartime service are then preserved at the Library of Congress. Through 2010 the project held more than 65,000 collections and was considered the largest oral history program of its kind in the nation. It serves as an important resource for scholars, historians, students and the general public.
The Veterans History Project authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380) was sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate. It received unanimous support and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 27, 2000.
Associated media projects
Notable media projects associated with the Veterans History Project include:
- A March 2007 screening of a series of films, shorts, and television episodes during Women's History Month titled "Women at War" highlighting American servicewomen participation in the major wars of the 20th century.
- March 2: Mad Parade (1931) and 100% American (1918)
- March 9: Ladies Courageous (1944) and Women in Defense (1942)
- March 16: Flight Nurse (1953) and M*A*S*H episode season 7, episode 16: "Inga") (1979)
- March 23: An episode from the acclaimed TV series China Beach and a television report titled "Woman Doctor in Vietnam" (1966), which aired on the CBS news program The 20th Century
- March 30: Courage Under Fire (1996)
- A joint community engagement during 2007 between the Veterans History Project and PBS resulted in the September 7 airing of the seven-part Ken Burns PBS documentary The War. The television miniseries underscores the VHP's objective of building the historic record by collecting first-hand recollections of wartime veterans. It also profiles civilians who work in support of war efforts, such as Rosie the Riveters and USO volunteers.
- The VHP launched a companion website on October 1, 2007 to "guide viewers through each episode, detail related historic events through the perspectives of hundreds of World War II veterans who contributed their recollections to the project archives, and showcase the wide variety of media contributed to the archives.
- The VHP commemorated Veterans Day on November 11, 2008, with a special online presentation featuring firsthand recollections of African American soldiers from the 92nd Infantry Division of World War II.
- "About the Veterans History Project (American Folklife Center)". Loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Veterans History Project >> Representative Joe Sestak". Sestak.house.gov. 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "The D'Azzo Research Library Newsletter". Afit.edu. 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- Chris Coutu (2000-10-27). "Make A Difference, Support American Veterans & Troops, Now!". American Warrior.Us. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "How did the Veterans History Project start?". Ask.com. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- Springer, Jason. "Training for the Veterans History Project". Blue Jersey. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Central Connecticut State University (CCSU): FAQ". Ccsu.edu. 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Representative Kenny Marchant: Featured Story: Learn About The Veterans History Project". House.gov. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "INTEGRIS Third Age Life Senior Services: Veteran's History Project". Integris-health.com. 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "History". Lakemoreohio.org. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "Veterans History Project". Norcaltrav.com. 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "VHP Celebrates Women's History Month with Film Series "Women at War"". Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Movie Review: Ladies Courageous". The New York Times. 1944.
- The Library of Congress (October 1, 2007). "Veterans History Project Web Site Enhances Experience of "The War"". News From the Library of Congress.
- The Library of Congress (November 6, 2008). "Veterans History Project Spotlights Stories of WWII 92nd Infantry Division: Soldiers from WWII African American Unit Recount History in Their Own Words". News From the Library of Congress.
- PUBLIC LAW 106–380—OCT. 27, 2000 114 STAT. 1447
- Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress
- American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress