“I realized then that surviving the peace was up to me.”
We are sad to share the news that Jim Northrup, a talented Ojibwe author, Vietnam veteran and a good friend who was an important part of the LZ Lambeau: Welcoming Home Wisconsin’s Vietnam Veterans project has passed away.
This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of LZ Lambeau: Welcoming Home Wisconsin’s Vietnam Veterans in Green Bay.
Take a look back at the powerful event in the video below. And, join us at Wisconsin Public Television in saying “Thank You” and “Welcome Home” to all of our veterans, while we also remember all of those who gave their lives in service to our country.
American Experience “Last Days in Vietnam” airs 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 28 on WPT. Scroll to the end to see more programs about the Vietnam War.
Ever since the United States ended it’s involvement in the Vietnam War 40 years ago, journalists, filmmakers, historians and countless others have studied and scrutinized the Vietnam War from several angles. So when American Experience asked Rory Kennedy to make a film about the final days of the Vietnam War, her initial response was, “Could I provide anything new.” Fortunately, Kennedy obliged and she managed to uncover one of the most dramatic tales from the Vietnam era.
Since its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, the Academy Award®-nominated “Last Days in Vietnam” has been seen in communities throughout America, and, according to Kennedy, the overwhelming response is, “I can’t believe we didn’t know this story.”
The film shares how the handful of American diplomats and military operatives that remained in the country at the war’s end engaged in unsanctioned operations to save as many South Vietnamese as possible from the approaching North Vietnamese Army. The film’s narrative is woven with emotional first-hand tales of bravery and gripping footage of the evacuation shot from the U.S. embassy and the Navy ships that awaited the last of the evacuees. It’s a film that is sure to give any viewer a new perspective on U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
“Last Days in Vietnam” is among several programs airing this week that mark 50 years since U.S. combat troops first landed in Vietnam and 40 years since the fall of Saigon. Some programs cover familiar topics, but each provides unparalleled in-depth storytelling and historical accuracy that public television is known for.
Preview “Last Days in Vietnam” and scroll to the end to see the full schedule of Vietnam programs.
Also airing on Wisconsin Public Television American Experience “My Lai”
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 21
Examine the My Lai massacre, its cover-up and efforts of soldiers who broke rank to halt atrocities.
8 p.m. Monday, April 27
The Draft tells the story of how a single, controversial issue continues to define a nation.
Dick Cavett’s Vietnam
9 p.m. Monday, April 27
Explore the war and its impact on America through interviews conducted by the host of The Dick Cavett Show.
The Day the ’60s Died
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 28
In May of 1970, four students were shot dead at Kent State. The Day the ’60s Died examines the event and its fallout.
Wisconsin Public Television and PBS have long been a home for the best documentary films on series like P.O.V., Independent Lens, Frontline and, here in our state, Director’s Cut. Across the past decade, WPT has also told the stories of our veterans through our award-winning War Stories programs and specials like Wounded Warriors and has supported veterans and their families through community engagement projects, including the ongoing Veterans Coming Home initiative.
In April 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. Approximately 5,000 Americans remained with roughly 24 hours to get out. Their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers and friends faced certain imprisonment and possible death if they remained behind. Last Days in Vietnam tells the firsthand stories of the bravery, sacrifice and tragedy of those final moments of the war.
The film, directed by Rory Kennedy, premieres on WPT April 28 and has already been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
To make sure public television viewers had a chance to see the film before the award ceremony Feb. 22, PBS and WPT streamed the full documentary online for three days – Feb. 5 – 7.
Watch Vietnam War Stories at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 on Wisconsin Public Television.
Last year, WPT premiered the Emmy Award-winning Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories documentary. That three-part film featured interviews with Wisconsin Vietnam veterans who shared emotional stories about service and sacrifice.
Now, the whole nation gets a chance to hear these stories in the special one-hour Vietnam War Stories program. Culled from the three-hour documentary, this new program also features Wisconsin veterans telling stories that they’ll never forget. Watch a short preview below and explore bonus footage, expanded resources and photographer James Gill’s portraits of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans (One of those photos, of Will Williams, is posted above right) when you visit this website.
Watch POV – The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers at 9 p.m. Friday, June 10 on Wisconsin Public Television.
Leaks of information — from government secrets to legislative scandals — have filled recent headlines. But, it is important to be reminded that this is not a new phenomenon. And while it is possible to debate the merits of each individual case, time allows us the opportunity to look back and see how some of these leaks have changed the face of history.
One such case is outlined in this program. By leaking thousands of pages of government documents to the New York Times, Vietnam War strategist Daniel Ellsberg triggered the beginning of the Watergate scandal and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon and set the path for ending the Vietnam War.
Before you watch the powerful documentary, take a look at this interview with Ellsberg and his wife Patricia, who talk about their participation in the film.