VHP helps you preserve the memories of the veterans in your life and community at the Library of Congress. See and hear more at loc.gov/vets.
The Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of US veterans so that future generations may hear directly from them and better understand the realities of war. Built through the voluntary participation of individuals and organizations, around the country, interviewing veterans and gathering their first-person recollections, the archive holds over 100,000 stories and grows daily. If you are looking for more information about the Library of Congress, please visit http://www.loc.gov/ To view our comment and posting policy, visit https://www.loc.gov/legal/comment-and-posting-policy/
We mourn the loss of Don Moore, a consummate volunteer who singlehandedly interviewed and submitted the collections of more than 500 Florida-area veterans since 2010.
Click here to listen to his stories: https://go.usa.gov/xsTrA
Read more about him on the VHP blog: https://go.usa.gov/xsTrH
U.S. forces returned to Corregidor #onthisday in 1945.
Paratrooper Anthony D. Lopez was awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing a wounded soldier under heavy fire on Corregidor, and was wounded himself in the process.https://go.usa.gov/xsTrX
The Allied assault on Monte Cassino monastery began #onthisday in 1944.
Peter Sanfilippo of the 633rd Field Artillery served in both Sicily and mainland Italy. Though surrounded by the terrible destruction of war, Sanfilippo mainly chose to document the people, both civilian and military, wherever he was. Click the link to see more of his watercolor art: https://go.usa.gov/xsT3e
Marion Gurfein wrote to her husband Joe during his tours of duty in World War II and Korea, even composing a newsletter named "The Goofein Journal."
Her 1951 Valentine charts several tours of duty - and the distance often experienced by military families. https://go.usa.gov/xsTqm
“On trains, we would stop at stations, and the Red Cross would be there giving out doughnuts and coffee to all of us, and by some strange coincidence they always ran out at the ends of the Black soldiers. It's a feeling that burns you up and yet at the same time, you are fighting for the same cause the rest of them are fighting. And here we were treated like this.” William C. Bryant describes one of his experiences with racism in the military. Listen to his full interview at: https://go.usa.gov/xn7ea #Blackhistorymonth
Veterans' Stories: Struggles for Participation | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress
Did you know the the Library of Congress offers resources to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections? https://go.usa.gov/xsx6u
Dating back to the birth of the United States, women and people of color have always served the nation in times of conflict, whether by taking up arms or providing support for the war effort. However, over those same centuries, women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans had to...
Today in 1918 the Stars and Stripes Newspaper was first published. Woven with coincidences and serendipity, hear or read the adventures of WWII veteran and immigrant, Peter Furst, who served as correspondent and editor. Reporting from Casablanca, Paris, Rome and more his stories (and interview) ranged from shipboard hardships to the first fresh eggs he'd had in months. https://go.usa.gov/xscUj
Today kicks off the 2021 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, a week for brings court reporters, captioners, court reporting firms, schools and others in the legal industry together to help highlight the many aspects that make court reporting and captioning a viable profession. Through the National Court Reporters Foundation, National Court Reporter Association members have transcribed over 4,500 VHP oral history interviews, including Joseph Jefferson Mickey.
The piece of equipment which Joseph Mickey credits with saving his life in the Pacific Theater of World War II wasn't standard GI issue. Mickey was the only soldier in that area of operations who knew how to operate a stenotype machine, similar to what court reporters use, and what many officers preferred for dictating documents. So after the U.S. landed in the Philippines Mickey was taken out of the infantry and assigned to General MacArthur's headquarters. He continued to work for MacArthur during the early days of the Occupation. At the age of 86, Mickey still had that life-saving machine. Learn more at https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.10305/
Explore 23 more stories of service in our Experiencing War titled "African Americans at War: Fighting Two Battles" at https://go.usa.gov/xAAnw
As a newly single parent raising her son in Charleston, West Virginia, in the late 1980s, Marva Gray looked to the military as a source of stability and career advancement. Enlisting in the National Guard offered her the chance to pursue new opportunities and still care for her son. Her unit was activated shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and she deployed to Iraq in early 2003. The two years she spent there, weathering shelling and IEDs, took a toll. Upon her return home, she found herself jumpy and plagued by insomnia. In her oral history interview, she encourages all returning combat veterans to seek care from the VA.
Peter Sanfilippo served with the 633rd Field Artillery. He decided that art would be a comfort to him, and once in London, he purchased painting supplies. Initially stationed in North Africa, he began sketching the locals. The war then took his unit to Sicily and the Italian mainland. Though surrounded by the terrible destruction of war, Sanfilippo mainly chose to document the people, both civilian and military, wherever he was. Following the end of hostilities, Sanfilippo’s unit remained in Italy as MPs, and he worked as an interpreter, which permitted him more free time for his watercolors. Sanfilippo is quick to credit his fellow soldiers, who helped him carry his supplies throughout their travels together.
The Montford Point Marines were the first African-Americans to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission in June 1941. The recruits trained at Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, NC from August 26, 1942 until the camp was decommissioned on September 9, 1949. Approximately 20,000 African-American men completed recruit training and became known as the "Montford Point Marines." Despite the challenges presented to those Montford Point Marines, their valor and performance at Peleliu, Iwo Jima, the Chosen Reservoir, Vietnam and more paved the way for our present integrated armed forces.
Samuel Lee Belton was one of those men. Learn more about his experience at https://go.usa.gov/xAARE
Joseph Beimfohr enlisted in the Army two days after his 17th birthday, with the approval of his grandmother, who had raised him. He did two tours of duty in Korea in a forward force that was on alert at all times. In August 2004, he arrived at Ft. Riley, Kansas, to train for duty in Iraq. Encouraged that he was working with experienced and dedicated men, he landed in country in January 2005. There he did more forward scouting, only this time under real rather than anticipated fire. What he learned from his experiences was that soldiers have to trust their training and instincts. In July he lost both legs to an explosion, and Beimfohr subsequently learned that the only limitations in his life were self-imposed.
Chaplains: On a Divine Mission (Stories from the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress)
Today is Four Chaplains Day. Named in honor of four WWII military chaplains who selflessly gave their lives--and their life jackets-- to help other civilian and military personnel escape the sinking SS Dorchester on this date in 1943. Witnesses say the four men were last seen linked arm-in-arm, kneeling in prayer and song as the ship went under. Chaplaincy is an often overlooked, yet very vital military career. Here’s a look at 15 of their stories from the VHP collections. https://go.usa.gov/xdgaR
Chaplains: On a Divine Mission. They can't carry weapons, but they are armed with something stronger: their faith. Military chaplains provide support and perspective to those serving our country in times of severe stress. And chaplains find their own lives enriched working with clergy and soldiers o...
Four Chaplains Day commemorates the “Immortal Chaplains” who sacrificed themselves to save the passengers and crew of the SS Dorchester. In addition to preserving Chaplains’ stories, the Library of Congress hosted an inter-service discussion, “Chaplains: Reflections from the Past.” http://go.usa.gov/x96Rc
Inside the atrium of the Library's Madison building across the street from the U.S. Capitol, Pfc. Paul McGiffin of the Texas Army National Guard sings "Wayfaring Stranger" to boost morale during their long hours protecting the Capitol complex during the past few weeks. Video courtesy of Stephen Hutto.
We are honored to provide support to the soldiers in their important service & thank them for safeguarding our national institutions and treasures.
More details and videos of the soldiers who warmed the atrium of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building with song on a cold recent night, as they guard the U.S. Capitol complex. From Task & Purpose, an online publication for the military community. https://taskandpurpose.com/culture/army-national-guard-capitol-wayfaring-stranger/
Well, it's Groundhog Day again.
Jack Jacobs had déjà vu every morning during boot camp. Learn more about his full experience at https://go.usa.gov/xAA5n
Congratulations to Pfc. Robert Simanek, who will have a U.S. Navy support ship named after him!
On August 17th, 1952, Simanek was a 22-year-old Marine who was assigned to go on a morning patrol. Expecting a quiet day, Simanek brought his Readers' Digest and can of beer. Instead, he ran into an ambush. Chinese soldiers hurled grenades into the trench. Simanek was able to kick one away, but not the other. Simanek's training kicked and he threw himself onto the grenade, absorbing the blast and saving his comrades. Despite his wounds, Simanek continued and radioed a nearby tank for support. Exactly one year after the incident, Simanek was notified that he would receive the Medal of Honor from President Dwight D. Eisenhower on October 27th, 1953.
Learn more about Simanek's full experience at https://go.usa.gov/xAG2S #MedalofHonorMonday
As Corporal Francis Mahoney served in France, he wrote regularly to his mother, assuring her that he was in good health and providing frequent updates on two of a soldier’s most important concerns – his pay and his mail. But following the armistice, he was able to share more details. He spent his first winter in France building barracks in frigid conditions, and saw many of the men around him die of pneumonia. He went on to serve at the front as a truck driver, narrowly avoiding enemy artillery, though some of his comrades were not so lucky. Mahoney describes the loss of life on the front as “an every day occurrence.”
"My father happened to be targeted perhaps because he was not only a fisherman with access to a boat, but also because he was a scrap metals collector.... So that, I guess, was sufficient for the FBI to arrest him the night of Pearl Harbor. And that's the last I saw of him...until two and a half years later."
Robert Kono, a second-generation Japanese-American, was only nine years old when the United States entered WWII. His father was arrested the night of the Pearl Harbor attack and it would be over two years before Robert would see him again. Soon afterwards, Robert's family was moved to one of the Japanese-American internment camps in California, and they shuttled around various camps in the U.S. until the war was over. Robert has since written a book about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit of Japanese-Americans who fought against the Nazis in Europe, as well as a collection of short stories.
Robert Hiroshi Kono: Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.
An army marches on its stomach, but the machines that carry troops in modern warfare rely on oil, and lots of it. In fact, Allied forces in WWII used over 7 billion barrels of oil over the course of the war! Jose Zaragoza poses in front of a tiny fraction of those barrels in the Ulithi Atoll. Full collection at: https://go.usa.gov/xRhhS
As a WASP, Violet Cowden flew supply planes for the Army Air Corps during WWII, but was not recognized as a veteran until 1977! Hear her story at: https://go.usa.gov/xRhkQ
Over 2 million WWII vets took advantage of the GI bill to enroll in college after the war. One of those vets was Augustus Prince, who graduated from Penn with a BS in physics after being a radarman on the USS Santee. Watch his story at: https://go.usa.gov/xR7S8
VHP staff love conducting workshops in the community, teaching people how to interview vets. Because of COVID, we haven’t been able to do these in-person workshops, but we are happy to host an online workshop for your organization, classroom, or any group of people interested in interviewing veterans for VHP. Email [email protected] to request a workshop today.
We may not be taking visitors at the moment, but VHP is still ready to accept your donation of photos, letters, diaries, or any other primary source. Email us at [email protected] to find out how!
With integration still years away, Black veterans in WWII struggled to find acceptance despite working tirelessly to prove themselves to their peers. Hear Dorothy Jenkins story at https://go.usa.gov/xAfpE
Learn more at https://go.usa.gov/xAfpC
Today at 1:30pm EST, join experts from the VA, the DOJ, and SAMHSA to find out what the US government is doing to develop innovative methods to help justice-involved veterans like separate courts and correctional housing for veteran offenders that focus on treatment and rehabilitation. RSVP at: https://go.usa.gov/xAfVr
Learn more at https://go.usa.gov/xAfpx
Did you watch the inauguration of President Joe Biden last week? WWII vet William Parkman didn’t just watch George HW Bush’s swearing in, he got up close and personal and told the story in his VHP interview. Hear it at: https://go.usa.gov/xAfVh
William Hugo Parkman: Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.
Navy vet Joseph Reichart included his grandchildren while telling them the tales of his service during WWII. We love to see VHP become a multigenerational event! Hear him tell his story at http://go.usa.gov/x9EcE
Winter doldrums got you down? Not WWII vet Robert Hackney, who spent several weeks in Miami Beach as part of “Project R,” a program to provide extended R&R to Army Air Corps pilots who had been shot down over Europe. http://go.usa.gov/x9PXN
This week in 1973 the Paris Peace Accord was signed, ending the Vietnam War and releasing thousands of American POWs. James Pfister spent 3 years in a POW camp. Hear his story at: http://go.usa.gov/x9QEn
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