Publication Date

January 1, 2001

Veterans' Oral History Project Launched

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress has launched a program to collect and preserve the personal experience stories and oral histories of American war veterans and will ultimately make selections available to the public over the Internet. The Veterans' Oral History Project, commenced on November 11, 2000, encourages war veterans, their families, veterans groups, and students to audio and videotape the memories of veterans' time in service. The center will provide guidelines to assist in the recording of the oral history.

"Collecting the oral histories of American veterans is a critical task in preserving our history and an urgent need as we enter the 21st century. These histories will be an invaluable resource for future generations and will become part of the nation's vast historical record that the Library of Congress has preserved for 200 years," said Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington.

More than 19 million war veterans are living in the United States (including 3,400 from World War I and 6 million from World War II), but nearly 1,500 die each day.

"The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress will preserve these folk histories of our everyday war heroes from every corner of the nation and offer selections from their stories back to the American people over the Internet," said the center's director, Peggy Bulger.

The project was authorized by Public Law 106-380, signed into law by President Clinton on October 27. The legislation was sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) and Amo Houghton (R-N. Y.) and Senators Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and Charles Hagel (R-Nebr.), and received broad bipartisan support.

The Folklife Center, created by Congress in 1976 is one of the world's largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world. The collections include wax cylinder recordings of Passamaquoddy Indians in Maine from 1890, ex-slave narratives, folk music from the 1930s and 1940s, and original recordings of legendary figures like Woody Guthrie and Zora Neale Hurston.

For details about the Veterans' Oral History Project, visit the Folklife Center's web site at, or write the Veterans' Oral History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540. (888) 371-5848.

David Van Tassel Memorial Fund Established

National History Day has, in collaboration with the family of David Van Tassel, established a memorial fund to maintain the legacy of Van Tassel's work. David Van Tassel (1928-2000) who taught last at Case Western Reserve University, was the founding father of the National History Day program. Inquiries and donations to the fund may be sent to David Van Tassel Memorial Fund, National History Day, 0119 Cecil Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD20742.

Institute for Editing Historical Documents

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin are jointly sponsoring the 30th annual Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, to be held June 18-23, 2001, in Madison, Wisconsin.

The institutes have so far trained more than 500 participants who included university faculty, editors of state historical publications, archivists, manuscript librarians, and graduate students.

The faculty for the institute will consist of Michael Stevens (State Historical Society of Wisconsin), Leslie Rowland (Freedmen and Southern Society Project), Esther Katz (Margaret Sanger Papers), Richard L. Leffler and John P. Kaminski (Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution), and Robert Rosenberg (The Papers of Thomas A. Edison).

There will be no charge for participating in the institute, and accommodation is also provided at no cost. Details about the institute and the application process can be obtained from NHPRC, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408. (202) 501-5610. Email: The application deadline is March 15,2001.

State Department Releases New Foreign Relations Volume

The latest in the United States Department of State series, Foreign Relations-Volume 29, Part 1 released in October 2000-deals with the responses of the Lyndon B. Johnson administration to the crises in South Korea during the years 1964-68.

The volume describes, among the many events of the period, the efforts of the U.S. administration to encourage South Korean concessions to anti-Government demonstrators in 1964, the participation of South Korea in the Vietnam War, and the successful attempts to secure the release of the crew of the USS Pueblo captured by North Korea in January 1968. The volume also deals with Japanese and Korean efforts to settle differences remaining from World War II and to enter into a new era of cooperation and the related U.S. efforts to facilitate these negotiations.

Part 2 of the volume will deal with U.S. bilateral relations with Japan.

Details about the volume and the series can be obtained from David S. Patterson, (general editor of the series), Office of the Historian, Department of State. (202) 663- 1127. E-mail: The text of the volume will also be available only at /about_state/history/.

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