The bitterness I feel when I remember carrying the lifeless bodies of close friends through the mire of Vietnam will probably never subside. I still wonder if anything can be found to bring any purpose to all the suffering and death. I recently came across some lines from a poem by Archibald MacLeish, "The Young Dead Soldiers," which may give that sacrifice some meaning: "They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us. "
Jan C. Scruggs
November 11, 1979

-- Round One: Making the Case --


Round One moves in chronological order from material on the sorry state of the returning veteran beginning in the late 1960s, to Jan Scruggs' first public appearances in print and the initial drive to build a memorial in the middle to late1970s, to Congressional hearings and approval early in 1980, and to President Carter approving the legislation in July 1980.


May 7:  "The Re-Entry Problem of the Vietvets," by William Barry Furlong, New York Times
          Magazine, 05/07/67, 23, 115-21  (New York Times)


Jan 12:  "Oh, You're Back?" Time, 01/12/68, 15

John Wayne's film The Green Berets based on the 1965 novel by Robin Moore.  See:

Alasdair Spark, "The Soldier at the Heart of the War: The Myth of the Green Beret," Journal of American Studies 18.1 (1984): 29-48.


May 28:  Jan Scruggs is wounded near Xuan Loc.

Jun 27:  Life magazine humanizes the "body count" by publishing the photographs of all 
              242 soldiers killed that week.

"The American Dead in Vietnam," Life, 06/27/69, 20-32.
Nov 13:  The "March Against Death" in Washington.

Nov 15:  "Wounded Unembittered by War Critics," Nan Robertson, New York Times, 11/15/69, 1:20
          (New York Times)

Dec **:  The events at My Lai become public.


Jan 21:  Scruggs witnesses 12 friends killed while unloading an ammo truck. 


xxx xx:  The tv film Welcome Home Johnny Bristol about a returning P.O.W.

xxx xx:  The term "Post-Vietnam Syndrome" (later "Post-traumatic Disorder") is coined.

Feb **:  The Winter Soldier Investigation (read into the Congressional Record by Senator Hatfield, 
             April 6-7)

Apr 19:  The "March on Washington" organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

May 26:  "From Dakto to Detroit: The Death of a Troubled Hero," by Jon Nordheimer, New York 
          Times, 05/26/71, A1  (New York Times)

Jun 05:  "Public Jobs for the Jobless," New York Times, 06/05/71, 1:28  (New York Times)

Jun 07:  "'Syndrome' Found in Returned G.I.'s," by Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, 06/07/71, 
              1:7  (New York Times)


May 03:  "Delayed Trauma in Veterans Cited," New York Times, 05/03/72, 1:19  (New York Times)

Jul 06:  "The Next Nick Adams," by William Pelfrey, New York Times, 07/06/72, 1:37  (New York 

Aug 21:  "Postwar Shock Besets Ex-G.I.s," by Jon Nordheimer, New York Times, 08/21/72, 
              1: 1, 22-34  (New York Times)

Sep 15:  Untitled OpEd by John O'Neill, New York Times, 09/15/72, 36  (New York Times)

Sep 15:  "The Ones Who Came Back," by Arthur Egendorf, Jr., New York Times, 09/15/72, 36  (New 
             York Times)

Oct 23:  "President Praises Returning G.I.'s," by Linda Charlton, New York Times, 10/23/72, A1
            (New York Times)


Jan **:  Congress approves the creation of a Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington.

Feb **:  "New Profiles in Courage," by Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Reader's Digest, February 1973,

Feb 08:  House Joint resolution 338 to honor the war dead with a grove of trees, introduced by
               Representative Paul Findley of Illinois, passes but goes nowhere.

Feb 14:  "Flag at Full Staff Today for Captives," New York Times, 02/14/73, 1:16  (New York Times)

Feb 28:  "M. I. A. Culpa," by Nicholas von Hoffman, Washington Post, 02/28/73, B1

Mar 03:  Study by Ralph Nader: Troubled Peace.

Mar 04:  "Viet Combat G. I.'s Held Shortchanged," by Peter Braestrup, Washington Post, 03/04/73,

Mar 05:  "The Vets: Heroes as Orphans," Newsweek, 03/05/73, 22, 24

Mar 05:  "The Permanent War Prisoners," Newsweek, 03/05/73, 23-24

Mar 08:  A broadcast of David Rabe's Sticks and Bones is cancelled:

                     "Stones for 'Sticks,'" by Tom Shales, Washington Post, 03/08/73, E11.

Mar 10:  "Texas Group Plans Salute to Vietnam Veterans at Cotton Bowl," Washington Post,
                03/10/73, A4

Mar 12:  "Forgotten Warriors?" Time, 03/12/73, 17-18

Mar 30:  Final U.S. troops withdrawn from Vietnam.

Mar 31:  "The Washington Merry-Go-Round," by Jack Anderson, Washington Post, 03/10/73, D31

May 25:  "Ex-P.O.W.'s Cheer," John Herbers, New York Times, 05/25/73, 1:1  (New York Times)

Jun 02:  "400 Ex-P.O.W.'s Are Given $400,000 Dallas Reception," New York Times, 06/02/73, 1:8
           (New York Times)

Nov 20:  Senator Alan Cranston puts a Veteran's Administration letter asking for legislation to deal 
              with the personal problems of returning vets into the Congressional Record (vol 119, Part 
              29, 37748-49); Scruggs refers to this letter in his 1977 Congressional testimony. (Course 

Dec 07:  House Joint Resolutions #381 and #865 establish a "Vietnam Veterans Day" for March 30,


Mar 29:  "The Real Honors," New York Times, 03/29/74, A34  (New York Times)

Mar 30:  "Viet Vets: A Sad Reminder, Day of Tribute Evokes Pain, Rage," by William Greider, 
           Washington Post, 03/30/74, A5

Sep 25:  Meanwhile, On the Hill, Lobbying and Politicking As Usual," by William V. Shannon, 
          New York Times, 09/25/74, 1:39  (New York Times)

Oct 29:  "Ford Orders Federal Agencies to Hire 70,000 Vietnam Era Veterans by July 1," by 
             Philip Shabecoff, New York Times, 10/29/74, 1:29  (New York Times)


Apr 05:  "Earthquake Vietnam," New York Times, 04/05/75, 28 (New York Times)

Apr 14:  "How Should Americans Feel?" Time, 04/14/75, 27

Apr 21:  "Last Exit from Vietnam," Time, 04/21/75, 7

Apr 30:  Fall of Saigon  (articles -- Newsweek -- see Dudley)

May 07:  President Ford declares this day the end of the Vietnam War era.

Jul 19:  "TV's Newest Villain: The Vietnam Veteran," by R. Brewin, TV Guide, 07/19/75, 4


Aug 4:  "The Invisible Vietnam Veteran," by James H. Webb, Washington Post, 08/04/76: A11
         (Course Documents) 


Jan 23:  "The Old, Unhealed Wounds of Vietnam: Conversations with Three Veterans," by 
              William Grieder, Washington Post, 01/23/77, A1, 14  (Course Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis)

Apr 18:  "The VA's Max Cleland: A New Kind of Battle," by Myra MacPherson, Washington
          Post, 04/18/77, B1  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 25:  "Forgotten Veterans of 'That Peculiar War," by Jan Craig Scruggs, Washington Post
              05/25/77: A17 (Course Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis)

Jun 22:  Scruggs testifies at a Senate Hearing on the Veteran's Health Care Amendments 
              Act of 1977 (Hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and Readjustment of the 
             Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Ninety-Fifth Congress, first session, 
              on S. 1693 and H. R. 6502)   (Course Documents)

            In his testimony, Scruggs cites his work as consistent with that of Robert J. 
            Lifton, Home from the War

  Robert J. Lifton, "The Post-War War," Journal of Social Issues, 31.4 (1975): 
Dec 02:  "The Class That Went to War," Washington Post, 12/02/77, ???? editorial [3/29/74??]


xxx xx:  The movie Coming Home ?????

Apr 08:  "A Plaque for Vietnam," by Josh Martin, Nation, 04/08/78, 389

May 28:  "Walking Amid History at Arlington Cemetery," by Richard Cohen, Washington 
           Post, 05/28/78, B5  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 29:  Editorial, Washington Post, 05/29/78, ????  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 29:  "'Range of Intangibles' Said Hurting Viet Vets the Most," by Warren Brown, 
          Washington Post, 05/29/78, A9  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 29:  "Vietnam Vets: Does Congress Finally Understand?" by Colman McCarthy,
          Washington Post, 05/29/78, A21  (Lexis-Nexis)

Aug 05:  Scruggs writes bitterly of continued Congressional inaction to help veterans.

"Continuing Indifference to Vietnam Veterans," by Jan C. Scruggs, Washington Post, 08/05/78: A15  (Course Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis?)
Nov 12:  "Veterans Day: 'Ignored' Men of Vietnam Owed a Debt, Carter Says," by 
              Stephanie Mansfield, Washington Post, 11/12/78, C1  (Lexis-Nexis)

Dec 24:  Tv movie Green Eyes.


Jan 29:  "Vietnam Veterans -- Peace at Last?" U. S. News and World Report, 01/29/79, 16

Mar **:  Scruggs sees The Deer Hunter, after which, he says several times, he conceived 
             the idea of a memorial  (file of articles and reviews on the Deer Hunter in Course 

Mar **:  Scruggs' proposal for a memorial falls flat at a meeting of forty veterans planning 
             activities for the upcoming Vietnam Veterans Week, but he meets Robert W. Doubek, 
             who suggests forming a corporation. 

Mar 27:  "How [Now?] Vietnam Veterans [Vets?] Demand Their Rights," by Bernard Weinraub, 
          New York Times Magazine, 03/27/79: 30-33  (New York Times)


Apr 27:  Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is incorporated as a non-profit corporation with 
             Scruggs as President and Doubek as Secretary.

Apr 28:  "Vietnam Veterans Still Feel Chill from the White House," by Ward Sinclair, 
          Washington Post, 04/28/79: A2  (Lexis-Nexis)

Apr 28:  "Vietnam Veterans Needs Unfulfilled," by Jack Anderson, Washington Post
              04/28/79: E27  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 28:  Scruggs holds a press conference to kick off fund raising.

"Vietnam Veterans to Seek $1 Million for a Monument," New York Times, 05/28/79: A8 (Course Documents)  (New York Times)
May 28:  Beginning of Vietnam Veterans Week. 
"Memorial Day Services, Activities Planned in Area; Veterans Ask Vietnam War Remembrance;  Veterans Urge Look at Lessons Of Vietnam War," by Thomas Morgan, Washington Post, 05/28/79, C1  (Lexis-Nexis)

"'All Vietnam Veterans Have a Certain Hole in Their Soul That Can Only Be Healed with Special Thanks,'" by Thomas Morgan et al., Washington Post, 05/29/79, C1 (Lexis-Nexis)

"Vietnam Veterans Week: Is America Ready to Face Them?" by Myra MacPherson, Washington Post, 05/31/79, D1  (Lexis-Nexis)

"A Tale of Two Veterans," by Max Cleland, Washington Post, 05/28/79, A21  (Course Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 30:  White House dinner for Vietnam veterans 
"Honoring That Extra Measure of Sacrifice," by Myra MacPherson, 
Washington Post, 05/31/79, D1  (Lexis-Nexis)
Jun **:  Some poignant letters come in with small donations, but Roger Mudd reports 
             wryly on the CBS Evening News that only $144.50 has been collected, and Scruggs 
             is made fun of by a late-night tv comedian.

             John C. Wheeler becomes involved, meeting with Scruggs and Doubek. 

Aug **:  Wheeler helps convene a meeting of veterans who become the nucleus of a 
             volunteer corps.

               A Fine Arts Commission official suggests a site near Arlington Cemetery that Scruggs 
               and Wheeler visit and find unacceptable.

Aug 04:  Scruggs' efforts bear fruit when New Jersey Senator Charles Mathias calls and asks 
              to see him.

Aug 19:  "The Screening of Vietnam," by James Webb, Washington Post, 08/19/79: L1 

Sep **:  Scruggs, Doubek, Wheeler, and three National Park Service officials meet with Senator 
             Mathias, who picks the Constitution Gardens site, near the Lincoln Memorial.

Oct 24:  Meeting with National Capital Memorial Advisory Committee results in an invitation to 
             return in January. 

Oct?     Senator Warner and direct mail campaign

Oct 25:  James Webb shows draft legislation to Congressman John Hammerschmidt of Arkansas, 
             who prematurely introduces legislation in the House (Congressional Record: Vol 125, 
             Part 23, 29680) in terms that the VVMF people feel might arouse opposition. (Course

Nov 8:  At a press conference (designed to coincide with Veteran's Day celebrations) led by 
            Senator Mathias, twenty-six senators announce they will back legislation introduced to 
            build a memorial.

"Vietnam War Memorial;  Senate Bill Proposes Site on Mall," by Donald P. Baker, Washington Post, 11/9/79: C1  (Lexis-Nexis)(Course Documents)
Nov 11:  Veteran's Day:
"We Were Young. We Have Died. Remember Us," by Jan C.  Scruggs, Washington Post, 11/11/79: B4  (Course Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis)

"Vietnam Vets: Tomorrow's Leaders," by  John B. Wheeler III, Washington Post, 11/12/79: A17  (Course Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis)

"Sad and Bitter Memories; Bitter Memories of War; Nation Honors Veterans, but Some Feel Forgotten," by Mike Sager, Washington Post, 11/12/79: C1  (Lexis-Nexis)

Nov 13:  "What the Vietnam Veteran Needs," by James Webb, Congressional Record: Vol 125, 
              Part 24, 32250  (reprinted from Marine Corps Gazette) (Course Documents)

Dec 01:  Full-time executive director is hired by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund; additional 
              volunteer staff is recruited.

Dec 20:  Senator Warner hosts breakfast fundraising.

???? Late 1979:  Washington Post letter to the editor asking for war resistors on the monument ?????

Washington Star article by Scruggs???? Levi (150)


Jan 02:  open office, begin direct mail campaign

Jan 16:  First substantial contribution: $10,000 from Gruman Aircraft

Feb **:  H. Ross Perot makes the second substantial contribution, also $10,000:  VVMF memo 
             details Perot involvement through 12/15/81.  (Course Documents)

Feb 12:  Commission of Fine Arts

Feb 22:  Letter from Brown to Peterson indicating the Commission of Fine Arts would 
              rather not have a specific site designated in legislation.  (Course Documents)

Feb 22:  Direct mail campaign begins: $34,000 pledged so far toward 2.5 million goal.

"Vietnam Veterans Plan Memorial in Capital as Reconciliation Sign," by Richard Halloran, New York Times, 02/25/80: A15 (Course Documents)  (New York Times)
Mar 05:  press conference to get House support

Mar 12:  HEARING before the Subcommittee on Parks, Recreation, and Renewable Resources. 
             The Senate. S.J. Res. 119. March 12, 1980. Publication # 96-111. (Course Documents)

Mar 22:  "A Vietnam Memorial," by Jan Scruggs, Washington Post, 03/22/80, A13  (Course 
              Documents)  (Lexis-Nexis)

Apr 26:  "The Making Of a Monument; Moving Monument; Planning for the Vietnam Vet's 
             Memorial," by Wolf Von Eckardt, Washington Post, 04/26/80: C1 (Lexis-Nexis)

Apr 30:  Senate approves legislation.

96th Congress, 2nd Session. Senate. Calendar no. 709 Report 96-663.  April 24th, 1980. Senate passes the joint resolution 119, with an amendment. SRP.663 X96-2:S.RP 663   (Course Documents)

Congressional Record, Senate. April 30th, 1980. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. #9431  (Course Documents)

(late?) April: article by James J. Kilpatrick urging contributions

May 08:  "The Wounds of Vietnam," by James J. Kilpatrick, Washington Star, 05/08/80, A15

May 20:  House approves legislation: Congressional Record, House May 20th, 1980. Authorizing 
              The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc., To Establish a Memorial. #11834 (Course

"House Approves Bill to Establish a Memorial to Vietnam War Dead," New York Times, 05/22/80: A24  (Course Documents)  (New York Times)
is this memorial day stuff?

May 25:  "I Wish We Were More Troubled," by Tim O'Brien, Washington Post, 05/25/80, 
              B3  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 25:  "After Vietnam: Voices Of A Wounded Generation," Washington Post, 05/25/80, 
              B1 (Lexis-Nexis)

May 26:  "Vietnam Memorial: Another Symbol of Frustration for Vets," by Ward Sinclair, 
           Washington Post,  05/26/80: A3  (Lexis-Nexis)

Memorial Day:  services at which Senator Mathias spoke, covered by papers

May 27:  "Memorial Day Highlights Legacy of Different Wars; Two Memorial Day Services
               Contrast Legacy of Vietnam and Other Wars," by Ronald D. White, Washington Post
                05/27/80: C1  (Lexis-Nexis)

May 30:  President Carter ceremony marking first Vietnam Veterans Week??

May 30:  "Needless Obstacle," New Republic, 05/31/80, ??? (Course Documents)

May-June-July????: Spreiregan is hired as strategist

June 24:  Mathias reception to celebrate House/Senate agreement, covered by papers 
           Washington Post story

Jun 26:  "Moving the Memorial," by Carlin Romano, Washington Post, 06/25/80: B8 

Jun 28:  "About Politics: Memorializing the Vietnam War Dead," by Francis X. Cline(s),
          New York Times, 06/28/80: A7  (New York Times)

Jul 01:  President Carter signs legislation. 

The law: PL 96 - 297  (Course Documents)

Remarks on signing legislation: President Carter and others  (Course Documents)

is there a NYT editorial on this besides the following article?

????"Carter Hails Veterans of Vietnam in Signing Bill for a War Memorial," by 
Bernard Weinraub, New York Times, 07/02/80: A14 (Lexis-Nexis: Newspapers)

"Carter Clears Vietnam Memorial; Survey Backs More Veteran Aid," Washington Post, 07/02/80: A21  (Lexis-Nexis)

"Vietnam Vets: 'This nation cares,'" Christian Science Monitor, 07/03/80: 28