Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ready for takeoff! Vietnam: The Helicopter War exhibit


U.S. Art Company load
Vietnam: The Helicopter exhibit

The Vietnam Center and Archive is proud to announce that the Vietnam: The Helicopter War exhibit is on its way to Australia.

The National VietnamVeterans Museumin Phillip Island, Australia, island just south of Melbourne, Victoria, will host the exhibit starting November 17th 2013 and ending January 26th 2014.

In the summer of 2013, the exhibit was on display in Lubbock’s Silent Wings Museum for the first time. Then, it was displayed in Midland,Texas. And now, a year from its creation, the exhibit will be available to the Australian public.

Friday, September 20, 2013

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

The third Friday in September is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. There are 83,343 Americans listed as MIA since WWII, including 1,644 from the Vietnam War. Please take a moment today to remember those who are still missing from the Vietnam War and all other wars.

To learn more about efforts to account for and recover all of our missing personnel, visit the Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), or this lecture by Major General (Ret) W Montague Winfield, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs and Director of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office, who spoke as part of the Vietnam Center and Archive Guest Lecture Series earlier this year.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2013

Vietnam Center Collection. Unicorn paper mache mask.

Thursday, September 19th marks the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon or Full Moon Festival. Traditionally celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon appears larger than it does on any other night of the year, the Mid Autumn Moon Festival (Tet Trung Thu) is the second biggest holiday in Vietnam and is widely celebrated throughout Asia.


Kathryn Campbell Collection. 8 year old Thi Thi Bich Nhi blends Vietnamese and Chinese legend in her drawing titled, Chi Hang (The Moon Goddess). She depicts both the Vietnamese man in the moon, Chu Cuoi, and the Chinese woman in the moon associated with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.


It is a time for family and to celebrate life, prosperity, and the harvest. During the Mid-Autumn festival, parents prepare their children’s favorite dishes and buy them new toys. Children hear the story of Chu Cuoi (the man in the moon) and other fairytales.

Douglas Pike Photograph Collection
Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration – “Moon Men” – Enterprising merchant in Saigon uses display of Lunar Astronauts to call attention to “Moon Cakes,” a traditional delicacy sold during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Hanging and floating lanterns are set out to decorate and people dance the lion and dragon dances. Mooncakes (made from lotus seed, ground beans, and containing a bright salted egg yolk in the center) are given to family and friends.

Ogden Williams Collection USOM/Office of Rural Affairs

Pomelo fruit and watermelon seeds are a special treat. At night children parade through the streets to the beat of drums wearing Paper Mache masks and carrying lanterns in the shapes of stars, rabbit heads, fish (carpe), butterflies, or lanterns with a lit candle inside that makes shapes spin representing the seasonal spinning of the earth.

Vietnam Center Collection. Paper mache mask.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Latest Issue of the Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter Available Online

The current issue of the Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter is now available online.  This issue is focused on our upcoming conference, Vietnam, 1963, to be held at the National Archives in Washington, DC on Sept. 26-28th, 2013, and includes a full agenda for the conference.

The conference is free and open to the public, but we ask people who are planning on attending the conference to pre-register online.

If you would like to receive a full color printed version of this newsletter in your mailbox, please consider becoming a friend of the Vietnam Center. Membership information can be found on our Friends of the Vietnam Center webpage.


Fall 2011 Issue:

Newsletter Back Issues:

Membership Information:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Orderly Departure Program Digitization Update – 200,000 Pages Online

Half-way through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) funded project to digitize the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) Application Files of the FVPPA/VAHF collection, two major milestones have been reached – over 10,000 ODP files are now available online, totaling more that 200,000 pages.  Although the pace has slowed down this summer with many of the students involved in the project taking summer vacations, the project is still well ahead of schedule, with over 90 of the 124 boxes of ODP files completely digitized.

This three year project is projected to make available online over 250,000 pages of materials documenting the immigration experience of Vietnamese to the United States following the end of the war in Vietnam.   All of these files are accessible through the Virtual Vietnam Archive, and you can keep up with the project on our ODP Digitization Project Page.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day from the Vietnam Center and Archive, and thank you to all of those who have worked to preserve our freedom!

Undated, Michael G. Kelly Collection

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

VNCA 2013 Conference Registration

The Vietnam Center and Archive’s 2013 Conference, Vietnam: 1963, will be held at the National Archives in Washington, DC on Sept. 26-28th, 2013.  The conference is free and open to the public.  Seating in the McGowan Theatre is limited, and due to the high level of interest in this conference, the VNCA is opening online pre-registration.  Pre-registration will guarantee you a seat in the theatre.

The conference agenda is also available online.  More information is available at

Online Registration Form

Conference Agenda

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Guest Lecture Series Presents Dr. Patrick Hagopian

Dr. Patrick Hagopian is a Senior Lecturer in History at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom and is the author of The Vietnam War in American Memory: Veterans, Memorials and the Politics of Healing, an in-depth examination of the development of many of the Vietnam War memorials in the United States and the vital role the Vietnam Veteran community played in their creation. Dr. Hagopian will be donating his papers relating to the writing of this well received work to the Vietnam Center and Archive and will speak about the collection and his experiences in writing his book on US Vietnam War memorials on Thursday, July 18th at 3:00pm in the Formby Room of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library on the TTU campus.  The talk and collection viewing is free and open to the public.

The mission of the Vietnam Center and Archive Guest Lecture Series is to enrich the intellectual and cultural life of students, faculty, and the community at large by bringing distinguished individuals to campus for presentations on specific aspects of the Vietnam War, its lasting impact on American politics, society and culture, and on contemporary issues in Southeast Asia.

This lecture series is funded in part by a generous grant from the Helen Jones Foundation.  For more information on the 2013 VNCA Guest Lecture Series see, or contact Mary Saffell at 806-742-9010 or

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bac Thi Pham Eaton Interview

Bac Thi Pham Eaton and Sam Eaton Christmas 1970

Bac Thi Pham Eaton was born on June 18, 1953 in Bai Cham, An Long, Vietnam. Her family suffered heavy losses and was politically divided during the Vietnam (American) war. As a young woman working in a sick bay for the U.S Navy, she met and learned English from her husband, Sam Eaton. In 1975 Bac and Sam, along with their two small children fled to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles, CA. Bac became a U.S. citizen in 1980. In 1981 the Eatons moved their family to Krum, Texas, where Bac grew and sold produce while caring for their growing family. Bac and Sam eventually went into the diamond business. The Eatons now split their time between Denton, TX and Lien Houng, Vietnam. In Lien Houng Bac enjoys her fish farm and raising fruit trees, and spending time with and employing family members whom she had been separated from for nearly twenty years. Sam and Bac both suffer effects from exposure to agent orange. Bac’s interview is now available online.

Bac & Sam Eaton. 7F-116 Gamewardens Reunion, 2006

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Bob Hope!

Today would have been Bob Hope’s 110 Birthday.  His support for US Troops is well know, having performed for soldiers overseas as part of the USO in every major conflict from WWII to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.  During the Vietnam War he traveled to Vietnam numerous times, performing every Christmas from 1964-1972.  A 1997 Act of Congress named Bob Hope an “Honorary Veteran.”  The following is just one of the many images of Bob Hope and his shows available online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive, and you can see many of them here.

Off The Coast Of Viet Nam – Hollywood comedian Bob Hope joins dancers Harold and Fagard Nicholas in a dance step aboard the US aircraft carrier Ticonderoga. Mr. Hope headed a troupe of noted entertainers that included Jerry Colonna, Carol Baker, Anita Bryant, Les Brown and his band, and others, who performed at military facilities in South Vietnam. The 42,000-ton attack carrier and its 70 aircraft are operating with the US 7th Fleet in support of the Republic of Vietnam. [VA000699 – Douglas Pike Collection (photo taken by Vietnam Photo Service).

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