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Register of the We Supported Our Men in Vietnam records
93057  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement Statement

  • Title: We Supported Our Men in Vietnam records
    Date (inclusive): 1965-1995
    Collection Number: 93057
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 5 manuscript boxes, 10 oversize boxes, 7 motion picture film reels (15.1 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, memorabilia, and sound and video recordings related to efforts in New York to mobilize popular support for American servicemen and prisoners of war in Vietnam both during and after the Vietnam War.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: We Supported Our Men in Vietnam, Inc.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    Use copies of some sound recordings, video recordings, or motion picture material in this collection are available for immediate access. For access to other sound recordings, video recordings, or motion picture material during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], We Supported Our Men in Vietnam records, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1993 with increments in 1995.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Historical Note

    We Supported Our Men in Vietnam, Inc. was established in 1967 when New York fire chief Ray Gimmler had the idea to organize the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade. The goal of the parade was to counteract the growing anti-war movement and to show American servicemen in Vietnam that they had the support of the American people. Gimmler was moved to organize the event after being angered by the burning of the American flag that had occurred during an anti-war demonstration in April of 1967. Over the course of a month, Gimmler, along with 20 volunteers, worked out of a room at the Commodore Hotel to plan the parade down 5th Avenue in New York City. It was held on May 13, 1967 and lasted almost nine hours with thousands of people in attendance.
    After the parade, the group, known simply as the Support Our Boys (and/or Men) in Vietnam Parade Committee, continued to advocate that the troops abroad had the full support of the majority of Americans in the United States. Gimmler continued to act as chairman and spokesman of the group with John M. Connolly, Jr. and Frank J. D’Amico acting as co-directors. The organization also began focusing on other issues related to the war, such as the treatment of American prisoners of war (POWs) and soldiers who were missing in action (MIA). They created the Council for Civilized Treatment of P.O.W.s and became active members of many other patriotic committees, such as the National Committee for Responsible Patriotism and the National Committee for the Protection of Patriotic Americans.
    In 1973 the group helped to organize the Home with Honor Parade in New York City. It was held on March 31, the day after the U.S. officially announced it would withdraw from Vietnam. Although smaller than the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade, the Home with Honor Parade also drew thousands attendees who marched from Times Square to Central Park behind 1,000 troops that had recently returned home from the war.
    In 1985 the organization officially changed its name to We Supported Our Men in Vietnam, Inc. and shifted their focus to the creation and distribution of the documentary At Home with Honor. The documentary contains footage of the different parades and events that were held for Vietnam servicemen both during and after the war. (For a full list of the events covered in the documentary, see note in the U-matic videocassettes subseries of Audiovisual Material.)
    During We Supported Our Men...Inc.'s final years, the group distributed around 2,000 copies of At Home with Honor to American Legion posts, U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) colleges. They also donated copies of the film to the National Archives and the Library of Congress and arranged for showings of the film at local community, veteran, and political organizations. On October 24, 1989, We Supported Our Men…Inc. received a George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for excellence in programs and activities for their work on At Home with Honor. The organization concluded its activities in 1995.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records of We Supported Our Men in Vietnam, Inc. contain correspondence, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, memorabilia, as well as sound and video recordings that document the organization’s efforts to mobilize support for Americans who served in the Vietnam War. The materials in the collection span the active dates of the organization, from 1965 to 1995, with the majority of the materials being from the late 1960s and late 1980s.
    Much of the material pertains to the Support Our Boys in Vietnam and Home with Honor parades as well as the group’s documentary At Home with Honor created in 1985. In addition, the collection contains materials related to the Council for the Civilized Treatment of P.O.W.s Committee, a subdivision of the organization led by John M. Connolly, Jr., as well as other patriotic organizations affiliated with Chairman Ray Gimmler.
    The Correspondence series contains materials originally organized and housed in binders by the organization. It includes several letters of support and thanks from national and local New York government officials, members of the public, as well as servicemen and their families, for the work conducted by the organization. It also contains letters to television studios, political figures, and various organizations advocating that the majority of Americans supported the troops during the Vietnam War. Press releases and clippings regarding the group’s activities and Vietnam veteran issues are intermixed throughout these files. More of this type of material, as well as photographs of events, can be found in scrapbooks in the Oversized Material series.
    The Audiovisual Material series contains footage of the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade held in New York City on May 13, 1967 as well as recordings of Ray Gimmler’s radio and television appearances speaking on behalf of the organization. It also contains copies of At Home with Honor. Completed questionnaires from recipients of the documentary can be found in the Projects and Events series.
    Posters, signs, and buttons from the various events the group participated in can be found in the Memorabilia and Oversized Material series. This includes material used in the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade, a “Free the Pueblo” demonstration, and events regarding Vietnam POW/MIA issues.

    Arrangement Statement

    The collection is arranged into six series: Correspondence, Projects and Events Files, Chairman's File, Memorabilia, Audiovisual Material, and Oversized Material. Within each series the materials were generally kept in the original arrangement and order of the creator. Quotation marks denote original file names.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Motion pictures.
    Prisoners of war.
    United States--Armed Forces.
    Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Missing in action.
    Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Prisoners and prisons, North Vietnamese.
    Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion.