The lasting impact of the Vietnam War

Friday, September 15, 2017


“The Vietnam War defined a generation. It affected those who served, those who protested, and the families of both. We invite everyone to add their voice.”

These phrases launched a Prairie Public project that stepped out into the broadcast community and collected stories that will be shared for generations to come. Prairie Memories: The Vietnam War Years invited the public to participate in oral history interviews that would represent the diversity of experiences during those years.

Partnering with the State Historical Society of North Dakota to digitize participants’ photographs, correspondence, documents and artifacts for the state’s digital archive, Prairie Public recorded for television and radio the memories of more than 40 people who were affected by the prolonged war between the communist armies of North Vietnam that were supported by the Chinese and the armies of South Vietnam that were supported by the United States.

Prairie Public will broadcast the interviews on television between episodes of the new 10-part Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War —which premieres September 17 and airs through September 28 — and will assemble all the interviews for an upcoming Prairie Public television documentary. Many of the narratives will be broadcast on radio on Sunday, September 24, at 5 p.m. CT, with plans for more in the radio schedule.

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