Community Issues

Groundbreaking Vietnam Exhibit Comes to Heinz History Center

National exhibit also features stories of Western PA's participation in the war

The Vietnam War was a conflict that shaped American society in ways that changed the country forever. Whether you served, marched, waited for someone to come home, or just want to learn more about the war, you'll want to visit the

Heinz History Center's exhibit, The Vietnam War: 1945-1975.

Developed in conjunction with the New York Historical Society , the exhibit runs through Sept. 22. It looks at the United States' involvement in Indochina from the beginning of the Cold War through the mid-1970s, with a focus on the war's impact on Western Pennsylvania, and the region's impact on the war.

National Archives

Displays tell the personal stories of Pittsburgh area men and women who served. There are also local photos and artifacts highlight the anti-war movement, and a replica of Washington D.C.'s Vietnam War Memorial with 752 names of the dead from eight counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The biggest and probably the most dramatic piece in the exhibit is a UH-1H "Huey" helicopter. With a 48-foot wing span it had to be shipped in pieces and assembled inside the building.

The History Center says the exhibit will explore themes of patriotism, duty, and citizenship through key artifacts, including cots graffitied by Pennsylvanian soldiers aboard troopships obtained through the Vietnam Graffiti Project, a Viet Cong rocket launcher on loan from Soldiers & Sailors Museum, and striking photographs by Vietnam War photojournalist Eddie Adams, a New Kensington, Pa. native. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will experience the soundtrack of a generation with music by legendary artists like Buffalo Springfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin.

IF YOU'RE GOING some cool stuff you'll want to know:

  • Half off admission for all veterans and active duty military
  • Free admission for all veterans and active duty military Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27) and Independence Day (July 4)
  • Open-Late Film Series: every 3rd Friday including The Deer Hunter and Good Morning Vietnam
  • Vietnam War Speaker Series: four lectures, including the author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Embers of War
  • Reading Into History Family Book Club: every 2nd Sunday through August 11
  • Vietnam Voices: speak with an eyewitness to history who represents one of many diverse perspectives on the Vietnam War, every 3rd Sunday

If you're interested in being a "Vietnam Voice," contact Laura Myers at 412-454-6428 or Admission to the exhibit is included with regular museum admission.

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