July 12, 2005
Library of Congress contacts: Anneliesa Clump Behrend firstname.lastname@example.org;
Helen Dalrymple email@example.com
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT
HONORS TOP NATIONAL INTERVIEWERS
Reception and Workshop to be Held for Participants
Read tips from the top interviewers [2 pages,
PDF 88.85 KB]
The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP)
will honor 14 individuals, who have conducted more than 3,200
interviews of veterans for the Veterans History Project,
at a reception on Monday, July 18. The oral histories resulting
their prodigious efforts are now part of the permanent collections
of the Library of Congress.
All of the top-producers have each conducted more than 100 interviews.
The three who have contributed the greatest number of interviews
to the project are Gary Swanson of Leawood, Kan.; Michael Lloyd
Willie of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Thomas Swope of Mentor, Ohio.
On Tuesday, July 19, a half-day workshop will be held at the
Library so that local project partners and participants can benefit
from learning about the experiences of the top-performing interviewers
from across the country.
The Veterans History Project is a nationwide volunteer effort
of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to
record and preserve the stories of wartime veterans and civilian
war workers. To date, the project has collected more than 35,000
individual stories, many of which are online at www.loc.gov/vets.
The effort relies on thousands of volunteers across the country
who interview veterans of all wars, as well as those who supported
them on the home front.
Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History
Project are encouraged to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to
request a project kit. The kit is also available on the VHP Web
site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/ or by calling the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.
Honored Veterans History Project Interviewers:
Gary Swanson has submitted 415 (and conducted more than 565)
interviews to the
Veterans History Project. Swanson works with VHP partner, Americans
Remembered, which was founded by Bob Babcock of Atlanta. His
hour-long video interviews are archived through the Jackson County
Historical Society and shared with the Library of Congress.
Michael Lloyd Willie has submitted 397 interviews. In Chattanooga,
WRCB-TV Channel 3 Eyewitness News, First Tennessee Bank and Erlanger,
a nonprofit, academic teaching center affiliated with the University
of Tennessee College of Medicine, formed a partnership to record
local veterans’ stories. The local project was launched
on Veterans Day 2002, with Rep. Zach Wamp and Librarian of Congress
James H. Billington in attendance. Willie has been the primary
interviewer for Chattanooga’s efforts on behalf of the
Thomas Swope has submitted 274 interviews. Swope learned about
the Veterans History Project through his uncle Bernie Swope,
a World War II veteran and VFW Post Commander in Ashtabula County.
Swope participates in the project in memory of his father, Clarence
Swope, also a veteran of World War II. Thomas Swope has produced
and hosted a radio series titled “Legacies: Stories from
the Second World War,” which honors many of the veterans
he has interviewed.
Gary Rhay, of Eugene, Ore., has submitted 266 interviews. Rhay,
a Vietnam War veteran, has been working with a number of veterans’ organizations
and museums to preserve the personal histories of wartime veterans
for many years and initiated his efforts before the Library of
Congress launched the Veterans History Project.
Because of the strong support of Sen. Richard G. Lugar for the
work of the Veterans History Project, a number of the top-performing
interviewers are from Indiana. Lugar has partnered with more
than 200 high schools and other community centers around the
state to enlist help in conducting interviews of Hoosier veterans.
More than 5,000 interviews have been collected throughout the
Emmy Huffman of Greencastle serves as coordinator for Lugar’s
effort to record veterans’ stories in Indiana, and she
has submitted 265 interviews herself. Patricia McClain of Scottsburg
has submitted 267 interviews, and Larry Ordner of Newburgh has
submitted 264 interviews. Mary Jungemann, an English teacher
at Southport High School in Indianapolis, has contributed approximately
300 interviews in the past three years. Gertrude Stephenson,
of the Christopher Harrison DAR in Washington County, has assisted
McClain in recording the interviews of some 200 veterans. Kelly
Bergman of Auburn has submitted 104 interviews on behalf of the
Dean V. Kruse Foundation’s WWII Victory Museum, another
of the partner organizations working with Sen. Lugar.
Lyndle Barnes Jr., the president of the Buffalo
Trace Boy Scouts Council in Southwest Indiana, established the
of Congress Veterans History Project patch that Lugar presented
to several scouts at a ceremony in August 2004.
Carol Fowler of Lincroft, N.J., has submitted 157 interviews
to the VHP. In January 2001 Fowler began an internship to interview
World War II veterans at Brookdale Community College’s
history department and Center for World War II Studies and Conflict
Resolution, and she attended the Veterans History Project kickoff
ceremony on the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City on June 6, 2002.
Since then, Fowler has involved many of her other local community
organizations in the project and continues to interview veterans
through the Center for U.S. War Veterans’ Oral Histories
in Sea Girt, N.J.
Andrew “Bud” Fisher of Sylvania, Ohio, has submitted
154 interviews. Fisher served in the U.S. Army in Europe during
the Korean War. He learned of the Veterans History Project through
a news article in 2002 and called the local VHP coordinator to
Harold Phillips of Winchester, Va., has submitted 131 interviews.
A Vietnam War veteran, Phillips is a volunteer for the Winchester-Frederick
County Archives and is working with their staff to record veterans’ stories.
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