The Vietnam War

THE VIETNAM WAR is a 10 part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. An immersive 360-degree narrative, the series tells the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. 

Credit Ken Burns' The Vietnam War banner / Courtsey

The film features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

Ten years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The series features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from many of the greatest artists of the era, and original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

From the Front Lines | Pop-Up Stories

Nov 6, 2017
Pop-Up Stories buttons on books
Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

Friday, November 10 at 6:30pm at the Communication Arts and Sciences Building, Studio A | Join WKAR for our final event in the Vietnam series: a special edition of Pop-Up Stories to honor our veterans.

Tami Moore, Toni Harrison

One of the legacies of the Vietnam War thrives in countries around the world. During the war, thousands of children were left in orphanages. Many were biracial, the product of relationships between American military men and Vietnamese women. This is the story of two women searching for their biological parents. One has had success thanks to technology. The other is hopeful despite running into dead ends.


Michigan Vietnam Monument at night
Courtesy / Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs

Thu., Nov. 2 from 12pm to 1pm at the Michigan Vietnam Monument | You're invited to join your community in paying respects to those who served and perished in the Vietnam War. 

man near ladder and helicopter
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

In January 1973, the Paris Peace Accords brought a formal end to the Vietnam War.  But in April 1975, the North Vietnamese Army ignored the terms of the treaty and captured Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. 

As the army approached, the U.S. hastily evacuated some 6,000 American citizens and South Vietnamese nationals.  Many climbed a ladder on the roof of the American embassy to flee by helicopter.  That ladder is on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. 


black and white helicopter
Courtesy of Rene Burri/Magnum Photos / PBS

Tuesdays at 9pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | The landmark documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick returns for weekly viewing. WATCH NOW

MSU Vietnam Project Archives

Years before the escalation, Michigan State University became very close with the South Vietnamese government. An archive at MSU containing 80,000 documents -- including papers, film and pictures contains the information. 


man speaking at podium
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

More than 52,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War.  Virtually all who survived came home with some level of emotional trauma.  Decades after the fall of Saigon, thousands of veterans continue to live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

 


This weekend, Current State takes an in-depth look at what happened when organizations asked the state Civil Rights Commission to ban discrimination of GLBTQ people in Michigan. Plus, we hear from Capital region residents who have loved ones in earthquake damaged Mexico City and hurricane damaged Puerto Rico. We'll go on a tour of a community center helping Lansing for nearly 50 years. 


ship on ocean
Courtesy / U.S. Navy

One of the most famous incidents of the Vietnam War didn't happen in Vietnam.

 

On January 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo was conducting a surveillance mission off the coast of North Korea when it was seized.  More than 80 men were captured and held prisoner for nearly a year. 

 

One of those men was Michigan native Richard Bame. 

 

WKAR's Kevin Lavery met Mr. Bame at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor to hear his story.

 


two war veterans
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Dozens of Michigan National Guard troops welcomed a Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Tuesday at a ceremony in Lansing. 

 


The Vietnam War | Evening with WKAR

Sep 15, 2017

FREE – Thu. Oct. 5, 7pm at WKAR | View a special screening and join the conversation on what we have learned about this divisive war and time.

logo and men holding up USA flag
Courtesy / LZ Michigan

Sat. Sept. 23 Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park, MI | Join WGVU and WKAR at this celebration of veterans and their families!

Main image
Courtesy / PBS

Sun., Aug. 6 at 7pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | Take an introductory look at The Vietnam War from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick! Watch and call or GIVE NOW.

Portrait: Ken Burns
Courtesy of Justin Altman / PBS

Thur., Aug. 3 at 8pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | Join Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, George Lucas and more for a tribute to the acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns! Watch and call or GIVE NOW.

2017 National Memorial Day Concert

May 19, 2017
Main image of capitol
Courtesy / PBS

Sun. May 28 at 8pm and again at 10pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | Celebrate Memorial Day LIVE from the  West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with the National Memorial Day Concert