Vietnam50 FAQ

Who’s idea was Remembering Vietnam?

The Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero is a Vietnam veteran. He worked with the National Archives staff to research previous efforts by the Archives to display Vietnam War records. The Archives staff also surveyed visitors to the National Archives. The surveys found a wide range of misunderstanding and a lack of accurate historical knowledge on why the U.S. went to war in Vietnam, why the war lasted so long, and why it was so controversial. In partnership with the National Archives Foundation to provide funding for the initiative, the Archives worked for three years to launch the initiative in fall 2017.

What military records are in the National Archives?

The National Archives is the nation’s recordkeeper. With more than 13 billion records dating back to the Oath of Allegiance that General George Washington and his troops signed at Valley Forge, the military records are the most accessed records at the National Archives. The holdings include military service records, personnel records, and pension records for all service branches. The Archives holds a range of records of interest to the public including the draft cards of celebrities, inventors and sports stars, D-Day records, Secretaries of Defense files, cartographic records, command files, POW/MIA records, hundreds of thousands of photographs, miles of films and newsreels, among many other notable documents. Learn more at

Who is the National Archives Foundation?

The National Archives Foundation is the private partner to the National Archives. An independent 501(c)(3), the Foundation’s mission is to enhance and expand the public outreach efforts of the National Archives by providing financial and creative support. The National Archives Foundation is a lead supporter of the Remembering Vietnam Initiative along with the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, AARP, and FedEx Corporation. Additional support has been provided by the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, The Eliasberg Family Foundation, Inc., and HISTORYⓇ.

What is Vietnam50 fundraising for?

Donations will support the Remembering Vietnam initiative – the National Archives’ official effort to commemorate the Vietnam War and those who served – as well as access to military records at the National Archives. For the initiative, this means helping fund the exhibit at the National Archives Museum, the traveling exhibit across the country, programming in DC and online, and much more! In addition, your support will help increase access to the millions of military records held in trust for the American people at the National Archives through digitization, programming, and more.

Once the exhibit opens, am I still able to donate?

Yes, we will be accepting donations to support the Remembering Vietnam initiative and access to military records at the National Archives until the initiative ends in 2019. You can also donate to the National Archives Foundation at any time to support all outreach and access efforts at the National Archives by visiting

Why does a federal agency need a nonprofit partner?

As a government agency, the National Archives receives federal funding to support the preservation of billions of records in facilities across the country. However, federal appropriations do not cover the many expenses associated with public outreach – such as exhibitions, programming, and special initiatives such as Remembering Vietnam. Thanks to the combination of public and private support, the National Archives is able to share with millions of Americans our history and honor those individuals who made it happen.

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