LBJ Presidential Library Hosts The Vietnam War Summit

Apr 05, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Combat Veterans, and Other Dignitaries Attend Three-Day Summit in Austin

Library Honors Service of Vietnam War Veterans and Offers Unvarnished Look at the Vietnam War and its Legacy

AUSTIN, TX, April 5, 2016 – From April 26-28, 2016, the LBJ Presidential Library and The University of Texas at Austin will host The Vietnam War Summit, offering a substantive and unflinching look at the Vietnam War. U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry will deliver the summit's keynote address, reflecting on the myriad ways in which our nation's relationship with Vietnam has changed—and the country itself has been transformed economically and socially—since Kerry's service in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy. His speech will come a month before the secretary joins President Obama for his first visit to the country.

Other major participants at the summit include Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977; Pham Quang Vinh, Vietnam's current Ambassador to the United States; and, documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, who will share scenes from and discuss the making of their upcoming 10-part, 18-hour documentary PBS series The Vietnam War, slated to debut in 2017.

Mark K. Updegrove, the director of the LBJ Presidential Library, said that The Vietnam War Summit is an effort to recognize the men and women who served courageously in Vietnam while also examining the complicated lessons of the war.

"When the LBJ Presidential Library was first dedicated, President Johnson proclaimed, 'It's all here, the story of our time—with the bark off. There is no record of a mistake, or an unpleasantness or a criticism that is not included in the files here.' In keeping with President Johnson's vision for his library, we will take an unvarnished look at the most controversial facet of his presidency," Updegrove said. "Our goal is to shed definitive light on the Vietnam War, its lessons and legacy."

Some of the panel participants include:

  • Bob Kerrey, former U.S. Senator and Medal of Honor recipient
  • Bruce Crandall and Joe Marm, Medal of Honor recipients
  • Joe Galloway, Vietnam War reporter, Bronze Star recipient, and author
  • William McRaven, University of Texas System chancellor and former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Charles Robb, former U.S. Senator, Marine, and son-in-law to President Johnson
  • Jan Scruggs, founder and president emeritus, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
  • Tom Hayden, anti-war activist and politician
  • Alexander Butterfield, former aide to President Richard Nixon
  • Journalists Peter Arnett, Dan Rather, David Maraniss and Joe Klein
  • Nick Ut and David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers

Secretary Kerry will deliver remarks on the evening of Wednesday, April 27, followed by a conversation with filmmaker Ken Burns. Secretary Kissinger will speak Tuesday, April 26, followed by a discussion with Mark Updegrove.

In addition to three days of programming, the library will feature major exhibits of Vietnam War photojournalism, artifacts, and key documents, from Truman through the Ford Administration. The library will also host "The Wall That Heals," a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that will appear outside of the LBJ Library on the plaza.

For more information and registration details, please visit


LBJ Presidential Library
The LBJ Presidential Library, located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Dedicated in May 1971, it is the nation's fifth presidential library. Its mission is to preserve and protect the historical materials in its collections and make them readily accessible; to increase public awareness of the American experience through relevant exhibitions and educational programs; and, to advance the LBJ Library's standing as a center for intellectual activity and community leadership while meeting the challenges of a changing world.

Media Contacts

Jim Popkin, Seven Oaks Media Group
W: (202) 686-6699
C: (202) 253-7959
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Anne Wheeler, LBJ Presidential Library
W: (512) 721-0216
C: (512) 731-2351
[email protected]