Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Afghanistan... America's New Vietnam?


On April 30th, 1975, America's involvment in Vietnam came to an abrubt end. After 9 bloody years, and consuming the lives of over 58,000 American KIA, it offcially mark the longest war in U.S. military history. That was until September 11th, 2001. Two weeks after the terrorist attack by Al Queada in New York City, U.S. Special Forces were depolyed to Afghanistan. In March of that next year, Operation Andaconda was under way and the offical start to the conventional war in Afghanistan began. It wasnt until Decemeber of 2014, that President Obama offially ended Operation Enduring Freedom, including direct combat operations, and Afghanistan became the newest, longest war after 13 years. Although through newer military technologies and tactics, the death toll was significantly minimized, the cost still weighed heavy. Many veterans, historians, and media have argued over our continued involvement in the Middle East. Is it worth the loss of money, time, and lives, both to our service members and the local population? Can we really claim victory over an ideal? How do we defeat an enemy that we cannot see? Many have refered to Afghanistan as the new Vietnam, and it is still an answer we seek today. 

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The Draft in the Vietnam War, 1964-1973

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The draft has become one of the most contentious aspects of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Re-established in 1948 after the end of World War II, the draft was often lauded as a hallmark of American democracy until military involvement in Southeast Asia escalated in 1964 and 1965. With the advent of a desegregated military and affordable mass communication devices such as televisions, problems familiar only to the top brass of the military became topics of discussion in many civilian homes. Even though the U.S. military during the Vietnam conflict was overall the best-educated military in history up to that point, men of lower intelligence, disproportionately minorities, often were overrepresented in combat positions due to various reasons.

With a poor understanding of the reasons for being in Vietnam and mounting casualties for little tangible gain, American public opinion turned against the war and the draft. Symbolic burnings of draft registration cards and attacks on draft boards in an attempt to destroy records and impede operations became commonplace beginning in the late 1960s. In 1968, presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon ran on a promise to end the draft altogether and return to an all-volunteer military. Accusations that the draft targeted the poor, minorities, and those of lower educational status led to a modification of the draft procedure beginning in 1969. A commission appointed by President Nixon found that it would be economically and militarily viable to return to an all-volunteer military, and so the bill which gave the government the authority to conduct a draft was allowed to expire in 1973 and not renewed.

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Front Page Headlines Shaping Our Views on the WAR

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This exhibit will showcase different front page articles from two newspapers, the Omaha World Herald and The Negro Star. The months that these articles are being drawn from are October through February the end of 1941 and beginning of 1942. To navigate through the pages on this exhibit click on a title on the right-hand side. There will be an introduction to the newspaper being showcased on that page followed by hand selected front page articles before, the month of, and after Pearl Harbor. There are some special links throughout the webpage that you can click on for further reading about certain topics brought up in the headlines of the showcased articles.

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