New-York Historical Society examines the Vietnam War

Saturday, 07 October 2017, 05:08:57 PM. A highlight of the exhibit are two 24-by-6-foot interactive murals.
The Vietnam War has been a staple for authors, artists and historians for decades. America’s longest war is currently the subject of a lauded documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and now the New-York Historical Society is weighing in as well. The institution is the “first major U.S. museum to take up the challenge of mounting an exhibition on the Vietnam War,” according to NYHS president and CEO Louise Mirrer, who called the project “one of our most ambitious exhibitions ever.” “The Vietnam War: 1945-1975” is not just a display of artifacts and artwork, though both are abundant, including the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers and the iconic “Napalm Girl” photograph, but a chronological examination of the war from the rise of communism in Asia after World War II through the 1975 evacuation of Saigon and beyond. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s July 1965 decision to double the monthly draft calls gets a lot of attention, as does the 1968 Tet Offensive. The POW/MIA situation after the war is less prominent. The 3,000-square-foot exhibit is roughly divided by U.S. presidents, with small sections devoted to North Vietnam’s President Ho Chi Minh and South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem was assassinated Nov. 2, 1963, after a successful coup that America tacitly endorsed. One of several compelling audio exhibits is a recording of then-President John F. Kennedy speaking into his Dictaphone on Nov. 4, 1963, expressing “shock” at the “abhorrent” killing of Diem. Kennedy...Read more
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