NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY
National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29 honors the men and women who served and sacrificed during the longest conflict in United States history.
On March 29, 1973, combat and combat support units withdrew from South Vietnam. Generations later, Veterans of this time period are gaining the respect that was not so freely given upon their return. Involving five U.S. presidents, crossing nearly two decades and 500,000 U.S.military personnel, it left an indelible mark on the American psyche.
Returning veterans did not always receive respectful welcomes upon their arrival on American soil. Over 58,000 killed, never to return. The observance recognizes the military service of these men and women who answered the call to serve their country when she needed them. They didn’t make the decision to go to war.
Throughout National Vietnam War Veterans Day, we recognize the service and duty rendered by all servicemen and women of this era.
HOW TO OBSERVE #VietnamWarVeteransDay
Organizations across the country host events honoring National Vietnam War Veterans Day. These events include memorials, speeches, and luncheons honoring Vietnam veterans and their families. Invite a veteran you know to join you or help organize an event. Other ways to participate include:
- Thank a Vietnam Veteran.
- Buy them a drink or lunch.
- Visit a local memorial. Volunteer to help organize events.
- Support a veteran’s organization in your community. Volunteer and offer your skills.
- Watch a Vietnam War documentary. Some films we found are The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick or Last Days in Vietnam directed by Rory Kennedy or Vietnam Nurses by Timeline.
- Read about the Vietnam War. We recommend: Vietnam – A History by Stanley Karnow or They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967 by David Maraniss or The Quiet American by Graham Green and Robert Stone.
Send them a shout-out using #VietnamWarVeteransDay on social media.
NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY HISTORY
U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced legislation in 2017 to honor Vietnam Veterans with a day. They chose the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam. President Donald Trump signed the National Vietnam War Veterans Day Act on March 28, 2017, calling for U.S. flags to be flown on March 29 for those who served.
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March 29th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
For the first time in history, Congress appropriates federal funds for a road. Section 6 appropriated the first $30,000 for the Cumberland Road which would extend from Maryland to Ohio. Eventually, the national highway would extend to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Mississippi River.
In Atlanta, Ga, Dr. John Pemberton brewed the first batch of what is known today as Coca-Cola. He combined coca, wine, and other ingredients to create an elixir similar to that of Parisian chemist Angelo Mariani meant to cure headaches among other ailments. Not only did the tonic contain a form of cocaine (the coca plant is a source), but it was also an alcoholic beverage. Soon, prohibition came to Atlanta and Pemberton altered his recipe, removing the wine. Eventually, a process removing the cocaine from the coca leaves left Coca-Cola free of the schedule II drug.
Niagara Falls comes to an almost complete stop due to an ice jam upstream.
The U.S. Government begins rationing meat, cheese, butter, and other fats. These items are added to a growing list of rationed items including sugar, rubber, coffee, gas, shoes, and metals. Don’t even ask about the toilet paper.
March 29th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
John Tyler – 1790
In 1840, the country elected William Henry Harrison as the 9th President of the United States. John Tyler was his running mate, elected to the vice-presidency at Harrison’s side. Just 31 days into office, Harrison was dead and Tyler became the first un-elected president to take office.
Denton True “Cy” Young – 1867
The American professional pitcher earned the nickname “Cy” for his powerful cyclone arm. During his career, he set numerous records, many of which stood for more than a century. After his death, Major League Baseball created the Cy Young Award, recognizing the best pitcher in baseball each year.
Lou Henry Hoover – 1874
Before becoming the 33rd First Lady of the United States, Lou Henry Hoover graduated from Stanford with a bachelor’s degree in geology. She traveled to China in 1899 with her new husband, Herbert Hoover, where she learned to speak and write Mandarin. Her love of the outdoors also drew her to the Girl Scouts where she was not only a leader but a president as well. All of these roles she took on before moving into the White House in 1929.
James E. Casey – 1888
With a $100 loan, James E. Casey and Claude Ryan launch the American Messenger Service in Seattle, Washington. They deliver by foot, bicycle, and streetcar. And they also deliver parcels. Today the company is known as United Parcel Service, and they wear brown uniforms while driving brown trucks and vans.
Pearl Bailey – 1918
In 1968, the American actress and singer won a Tony award for her lead performance in Hello Dolly!
Sam Walton – 1918
In 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, the American businessman opened the first in a chain of department stores called Wal-mart.
Walt Frazier – 1945
The American point guard played 13 seasons for the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 1970 and 1973, Frazier won NBA championships with the Knicks.
Howard Lindsay – 1886
Pepper Paire Davis – 1924
LaToya Jackson – 1956
Jennifer Capriati – 1976