The Conflicting Legacies of the Vietnam War: Why They Still Matter

Event date/time: 

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm

A Vietnam War Teach-In

A diverse panel of veterans, peace activists, and historians will discuss the Vietnam War and share stories of combat, activism, and post-war life.  this teach-in aims to further understandings ofthe realities and myths of America's most controversial war and its impact on veterans, the national psyce, and the lives of Americans and Southeast Asians.


Christian Appy is Professor of History at UMass Amherst and the author of several acclaimed books on the Vietnam War, including Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides and American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.

Cherie Rankin served in Vietnam with the U.S. Red Cross. Rankin is an advocate for the recognition of women's service in Vietnam and has helped to organized several national conferences on the War.

Wayne Smith served two tours in Vietnam as an Army medic. Smith formerly worked at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and he is former President of the Black Patriots Foundation. Now retired, Smith is an advisor to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Randy Kehler is a peace activist who spent 22 months in federal prison for his refusal to cooperate with the draft. Daniel Ellsberg credits Kehler with inspiring him to publicly release the Pentagon Papers.

Tom Weiner is author of Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft, which tells the stories of veterans, military family members, and resisters.


Tom Fricke, the event moderator, is a Social Studies teacher at Amherst-Pelham Regional H.S. who teaches a popular unit on the Vietnam War.
More Information: Rob Wilson, Veterans Education Project,; Susan Leary, Veterans Education Project,

Co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst Labor Center, the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies, the American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts, and by the UMass Amherst Departments of Afro-American Studies, Economics, English, Political Science, Social Thought and Political Economy, Sociology, and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies