Sept. 14 Symposium: The Vietnam War Revisited
Press Release · Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Washington, DC

In collaboration with the Assembly for Democracy in Vietnam, The National Archives presents a one-day symposium exploring the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective on Friday, September 14, 2018, from  9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. “The Vietnam War Revisited” is held in conjunction with the National Archives’ first-ever Vietnam War exhibit, “Remembering Vietnam” on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery through January 6, 2019. Watch the program live streamed on the National Archives YouTube channel.

The event is free (unless ordering a meal) and open to the public and pre-registration is required by August 31, 2018. Register at:  Attendees should use the Special Events Entrance, located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. Please note there is no parking at the National Archives.

The symposium will be divided into three segments: Engagement in the War, Aftermath of the War, and Post-War: Perspectives of Younger Generations. Scheduled speakers include Dr. Pierre Asselin (Hanoiʹs Road to the Vietnam War); Rufus Phillips (Why Vietnam Matters); Dr. Tuong Vu (Vietnam’s Communist Revolution: The Power and Limits of Ideology); Dr. Tạ Văn Tài,  Former Lecturer and Research Associate, Harvard Law School; and Dr. Kieu‑Linh Valverde (Transnationalizing Vietnam: Community, Culture and Politics in the Diaspora).

View the full schedule online: Revisited

9:30 a.m: Welcoming Remarks:
The Honorable Davis S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
Jackie Bong-Wright, The Assembly for Democracy in Vietnam (ADVN)

9:40 a.m. – Noon: Session #1: Engagement in the War

  • Ideology, the Vietnamese Communist Revolution, and the Origins of the American War in Vietnam:

Pierre Asselin -  Author of Hanoiʹs Road to the Vietnam War

  • Nation-building in War:  The experience of Republican Vietnam 1955-1975:

Dr. Tuong Vu - Author of Vietnam’s Communist Revolution: The Power and Limits of Ideology

  • American Engagement in Vietnam – The Great Disconnect:

Rufus Phillips - Author of Why Vietnam Matters

Noon to 1:30 p.m: Lunch and self-guided tours of Remembering Vietnam exhibit

1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.: Session #2: Aftermath of the War

  • Withdrawal:  Why South Vietnam Lost:

Robert Turner - Professor University of Virginia School of Law

  • The Vietnamese Diaspora’s Roles in Rescuing, Protecting and Resettling Vietnamese Refugees:

Nguyễn Đình Thắng - President and CEO, Boat People SOS

  • Lessons from the Vietnam War:

Tạ Văn Tài - Former Lecturer and Research Associate Harvard Law School

3:30 p.m - 6:00 p.m.: Session #3: Post War - Perspectives of Younger Generations

  • The Impact of the Vietnam War on The Vietnamese American Diaspora

Kieu-Linh Valverde - Author of Transnationalizing Vietnam: Community, Culture and Politics in the Diaspora.

  • Outlook of Younger Generations in Vietnam from 1975 to the Present:

Thanh Tùng Nguyễn - Exiled from Vietnam since 2017

  • Montagnard Youth in the Central Highlands

Neil Nay

  • Outlook of Younger Generations Overseas and Their Views for Democracy in Vietnam:
    Trí Tạ - Mayor of Westminster, Cal.

 6:00 p.m.: Closing Remarks - Alice Kamps, Curator, "Remembering Vietnam" exhibit

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Self-guided tours of "Remembering Vietnam" exhibit

The Assembly for Democracy in Vietnam (ADVN) was created in 2002, bringing together overseas Vietnamese and those in Vietnam (conditions permitting) in a variety of organizations and sectors -  - culture, education, labor, press, and human rights - - who share the goal of promoting democracy in Vietnam.

Pierre Asselin is the Dwight E. Stanford Chair in the History of US Foreign Relations at San Diego State University, specializing in East/Southeast Asia and the larger Cold War context.  He is the author of Hanoiʹs Road to the Vietnam War.

Dr. Tường Vũ is Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon, author of Vietnam’s Communist Revolution: The Power and Limits of Ideology.

In 1954, Rufus Phillips joined the United States Army and served as a military advisor to the South Vietnam government. Phillips was a protégé of General Edward Lansdale.

Robert F. Turner is a professor of international law and national security law at the University of Virginia and the co-founder of its Center for National Security Law.  In 1968, Turner served briefly as a correspondent in Vietnam for the Indianapolis News. He then was commissioned as a Captain in the US Army through the ROTC program and assigned to the intelligence services. He served in Vietnam from 1968 through 1971, primarily assigned to MACV on detail to the US Embassy as Assistant Special Projects Officer, North Vietnam/Viet Cong Affairs Division.

Dr. Nguyễn Đình Thắng is President and CEO of Boat People SOS

Since arrival in the United States as refugee in 1975, Dr. Tạ Van has been working at Harvard Law School and also practicing law in Massachusetts.

Kieu Linh Valverde is Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, University of California, Davis and author of Transnationalizing Vietnam: Community, Culture and Politics in the Diaspora.

Neil Nay is an engineer living in California

Tri Ta was elected on November 8, 2016 to serve his third term as mayor of Westminster, CA. Mayor Ta was first elected to the Westminster City Council in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010.  In 2008, he was selected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. Mayor Ta became the first Vietnamese-American elected mayor in the United States with his victory on November 6, 2012.

Related Exhibit: “Remembering Vietnam: Twelve Critical Episodes in the Vietnam War”
On display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery through January 6, 2019
National Archives Museum

Explore 12 critical episodes in the Vietnam War from its World War II origins to the Fall of Saigon. These key events and turning points trace the policies and decisions made by the architects of the conflict, and the forces that drove them. Iconic and newly discovered documents, films, images, and artifacts along with insights from veterans, civilians, and historians shed light on the complex history of United States’ involvement in Southeast Asia.

For more information on the exhibit, visit Read about the exhibit in Prologue Magazine.

“Remembering Vietnam” is presented in part by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, AARP, FedEx Corporation, and the National Archives Foundation. Additional support provided by the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, The Eliasberg Family Foundation, Inc., and HISTORYⓇ .


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