Virginia & the Vietnam War

On Display
Exhibition Type
Limited Time Display
Time Period
1925 to Today
Military History

Call for Participants: Share Your Vietnam War Story

Admission: Included with Museum Daily Admission

Free for Members!
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When Saigon fell in 1975, so ended one of America’s most controversial conflicts – the Vietnam War. For many Virginians, however, there remained a feeling of disconnectedness which was to endure for decades. Members of the public, divided over America’s participation in the war, were reluctant to ask questions of veterans, while service members resisted volunteering information and much of the government’s war policy remained classified. Even now, no agreed upon narrative of the war exists.  Public opinion polls indicate that many Americans concluded that the war was a mistake, while a majority of veterans felt proud of their service, and numerous refugees and immigrants from Vietnam made the U.S. their home. Through this display, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) aims to restore Virginians’ connection with this pivotal moment in our history while honoring those who felt the impact of the war long after it ended.

A young solider in military fatigues and helmet carrying a camo backpack

Marine at Da Nang, 1965 (Photo: National Archives)

On the 50th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, now is the time to ask new questions about Virginia and the Vietnam War. This display will provide guests access to the VMHC's collected oral histories. It will invite guests to immerse themselves in the choices, perspectives, and experiences of Virginians during the Vietnam War era, and to consider the long-term impact of the conflict on the politics, culture, and population of the Commonwealth in order to help facilitate untapped understandings about this tumultuous time.

  • 230,000+ Virginians served in Vietnam
  • 1,490 Virginians died in Vietnam
  • Virginia ranked 5th in states of the number of prisoners of war held in Vietnam
  • Significant anti-war protests in Virginia included the attempted levitation of the Pentagon, Martin Luther King, Jr. at Arlington Cemetery, Muhammad Ali at Virginia Union, amongst other campus activities
  • About 200,000 Vietnam-era veterans currently live in Virginia
  • Virginia is currently home to 60,000 Vietnamese Americans

Call for Participants

The VMHC is seeking individuals to interview for inclusion in the Virginia & the Vietnam War display. Any Virginian who experienced the war can participate. The more breadth and depth represented in these stories, the more authentic the telling of this history will be.  Recordings and transcripts will be added to the VMHC's oral history collection which is available to students, scholars, and the general public.

Interested in donating to the VMHC Collections? Learn more.

Bring Virginia & the Vietnam War to Your Location

A traveling version of this exhibition appropriate for display in libraries, schools, and museums will also be available. See our traveling exhibition page for details.


Presenting Sponsor
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
With Support From
Katherine & Jack Nelson
Lettie Pate Evans Changing Exhibition Fund