MCHS Needs Vietnam War Artifacts for Exhibit

"Deep Gap Between Voters, Candidates on Vietnam" - Headline from Little Falls Daily Transcript, September 4 1968

“Deep Gap Between Voters, Candidates on Vietnam” – Headline from Little Falls Daily Transcript, September 4 1968

The Morrison County Historical Society (MCHS), in partnership with the Lindbergh House & Museum and Minnesota Military Museum, is taking part in a project to gather stories and present the history of the Vietnam War. Called Central Minnesota Remembers Vietnam, the project, which is being funded by a Legacy Grant from the Minnesota Humanities Center, involves several components, including workshops to assist veterans in sharing their stories, screenings of The Vietnam War, a documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, traveling trunks for school students, and an exhibit on the war and the home front.

MCHS will be in charge of the home front exhibit at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls, MN. The Vietnam War ran from 1954 to 1975. Because the museum’s collection is short on items from this era, MCHS is inviting Central Minnesotans to loan artifacts and photos illustrating both the war and everyday life for the exhibit.

Mary Warner, executive director of the Morrison County Historical Society, stressed that this is an exhibit meant to showcase a variety of experiences related to the war. She said, “It’s not uncommon for us to hear from veterans who served but did not see combat that their service was not that important. Those on the battlefield depend on a lot of support from military personnel in a variety of roles. We are just as interested in those stories and artifacts as we are in the stories and artifacts of combat veterans.”

Because the exhibit is also meant to cover the home front experience of the Vietnam War, Warner said that loaned items illustrating local reactions to the war, whether from family members of soldiers or war protesters, are needed to create a well-rounded exhibit. Household items and toys from the era will also be accepted for the exhibit.

Items need to be available for exhibit through 2018 and will be returned in early 2019. For more info, call the Morrison County Historical Society at 320-632-4007.

Minnesota Remembers Vietnam is an initiative led by Twin Cities PBS aimed at inspiring Minnesotans to remember, share stories, recognize bravery, express their reasons for dissent, and foster understanding around the lasting impact of war. TPT is partnering with the Minnesota Humanities Center to bring public conversations around these topics to communities across the state, thanks to support from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with a vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.


  1. I am not a Vietnam combat veteran. I enlisted in the Army in mid March of 1973 after graduating in 1972. I did not turn 18 until December of 1972. The thing that sticks in my mind the most is after basic training I was sent to Fort Lewis, WA. It was mid May in 1973 and I was in my dress uniform in Sea-Tac airport just after arriving. I will never forget this man walking up to me and saying ” have you killed any babies lately”. I just stood there in shock and my first inclination was to punch him in the nose. I walked away thank god. My first thought was what did the guys coming back from Vietnam feel if they were greeted that way? My whole attitude was changed by that. In April of 1975 my unit was at Ramstein airbase for about 3 or 4 days on ready during the time the North invaded south Vietnam. Most of my Sergeants and many officers were Vietnam vets and they were held with high regard by me and my fellow soldiers.

    • Morrison County Historical Society

      Thanks so much for sharing your story, Craig. I think it’s easy to believe that once an historic event like the Vietnam War is finished, there are no further ripple effects in society, but your story shows that these effects can continue on.

      Mary Warner
      Executive Director

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