Register of the We Supported Our Men in Vietnam records

Finding aid prepared by Paige Minister
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
archives@hoover.stanford.edu
© 2015


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.

Boxes 1-4

Correspondence, 1967-1995

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence between the directors of We Supported Our Men...Inc. and government officials, servicemen and their families, and members of the public with clippings, press releases, and other printed matter dispersed throughout. Much of the correspondence consists of letters of support regarding the We Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade and At Home with Honor. Some of the correspondence also includes letters written by or for other patriotic organizations that the directors were involved with.
Because the creator organized some of these files by subject and others by correspondent, it may be necessary to search several files that span the same date range when conducting research. Some correspondence also appears in the scrapbooks found in the Oversized Material series. File titles in quotations denote original file names used by the creator.
 

General, 1967-1995

Scope and Contents note

Contains material from unnamed files not organized by subject or correspondent.
Box/Folder 1 : 1-2

1967-1968

Box/Folder 1 : 3-4

1989-1990

Box/Folder 1 : 5

1990-1993

Box/Folder 1 : 6

1993-1995

 

"Letters," 1967-1968

Box/Folder 1 : 7

"Letters 1967-1968," 1967

Box/Folder 1 : 8

"Gove[r]nors and Dignitaries," 1967

Box/Folder 1 : 9

"NY State Officials and Legislature," 1967

Box/Folder 1 : 10

"City Officials," 1967-1968

Box/Folder 2 : 1

"Misc. and VIP Letters," 1967

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence with various political and community organizations.
Box/Folder 2 : 2-3

"Military," 1967

Box/Folder 2 : 4-6

"Letters from Organizations," 1967-1968, undated

 

"Support Our Men in Vietnam Parade," 1967-1986

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence sent and received by members the group, then known as "Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade," and not necessarily about the parade itself.
Box/Folder 2 : 7

"Best Letters from Servicemen in Vietnam War," 1967

Scope and Contents note

Includes letters from servicemen thanking Ray Gimmler for organizing the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade, some of which contain the writer's sentiments regarding how the anti- and pro-war movements in the United States are affecting them overseas.
Box/Folder 3 : 1-2

"Misc. Letters," 1967-1973

Box/Folder 3 : 3

"Letters," 1973-1986

 

Letters and press, 1979-1989

Box/Folder 3 : 4

"Letters to Corporation," 1988-1989

Box/Folder 3 : 5

"Letters from Corporation," 1988-1989

Box/Folder 3 : 6

"Press Clips," 1987-1989

Box/Folder 3 : 7

"Pre 1988-9 Information," 1979-1987

 

"At Home with Honor Documentary," 1984-1993

Box/Folder 4 : 1-2

"Letters," 1984-1986

Box/Folder 4 : 3-4

"Letters - Press," 1990-1993

 

Stock letters, 1990-1993

Box/Folder 4 : 5

Air Force ROTC colleges, 1990-1992

Box/Folder 4 : 6

American Legion posts, 1993

Box/Folder 4 : 7

Follow ups, 1990

Box/Folder 4 : 8

VA medical centers, 1990-1992

Boxes 4-5

Projects and Events File, 1967-1993

Scope and Contents note

Comprised of photographs and documents relating to the planning and execution of the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade on May 13, 1967, the Home with Honor Parade on March 31, 1973, and the distribution of the At Home with Honor documentary. See also related scrapbooks in Oversized Material. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder 4 : 9

Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade Committee file, 1967

Box/Folder 5 : 1

"Home with Honor Parade and Photos, March 31, 1973," 1973

Box/Folder 5 : 2

"Home with Honor Documentary: ROTC, V.A. Hospitals, Veterans Questionnaire and Answers," 1990-1993

Note

See also "At Home with Honor Documentary" file in Correspondence for more information on this project.
Box 5

Chairman's File, 1967-1990

Scope and Contents note

Contains material related to the organization's funding, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge award, and other material collected by We Supported Our Men...Inc.'s chairman, Ray Gimmler.
 

Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge award, 1967, 1989

Box/Folder 5 : 3

Nomination materials, 1967

Scope and Contents note

Includes a "Prefacing Statement" which summarizes the group's goals and accomplishments to date.
Box/Folder 5 : 4

October 24, 1989 awards ceremony, 1989

Box/Folder 5 : 5

Funding materials, 1989-1990, undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes contracts, proposals, questionnaires, and correspondence related to the organization's funding from New York State's Division of Veterans' Affairs.
Box/Folder 5 : 6

Miscellany, 1989-1990

Scope and Contents note

Consists mainly of clippings and press releases related to We Supported Our Men in Vietnam, Inc. and Ray Gimmler. Also includes typescripts of two speeches given by Ray Gimmler in 1989.
Box 5

Memorabilia, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains stickers and pins with pro-American sentiments and messages regarding Vietnam War POWs, MIAs, and the "Free the Pueblo" incident.
Box/Folder 5 : 7

Stickers, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains 11 stickers and bumper stickers.
Box/Folder 5 : 8

Pins, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains 10 pins.
Boxes 14-15

Audiovisual Material, 1967-1989

Scope and Contents note

Includes copies of At Home with Honor, video and sound recordings of a speech given by Ray Gimmler during a Flag Day ceremony in 1967, and Gimmler's various television and radio program appearances representing We Supported Our Men...Inc. Arranged chronologically.
 

Video recordings, 1967-1989

Box 14

U-matic video cassettes, 1985

 

At Home with Honor, documentary (34 minute version), 1985

Scope and Contents note

Includes footage of the following events: Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade in New York City, May 13, 1967; Flag Day Ceremony at Yankee Stadium, June 14, 1967; Hard Hat Parade in New York City, May 20, 1970; Central Park flag raising ceremony, October 15, 1970; Home with Honor parade in New York City, March 31, 1973;dedication of National Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., 1984; dedication of New York City Vietnam Memorial, May 6, 1985; and Ticker Tape Parade in New York City, May 7, 1985.
 

At Home with Honor, documentary (29 minute version), 1985

Box 15

VHS video cassettes, 1967-1989

 

Support Our Men in Vietnam Parade on Fifth Ave in New York City (1 hour and 45 minutes), 1967 May 13

 

Support Our Men in Vietnam Parade on Fifth Ave in New York City (30 minute version), 1967 May 13

 

Flag Day Ceremony, Yankee Stadium (7 minutes), 1967

 

Holland television documentary (34 minutes), 1971

Scope and Contents note

Documentary discussing the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade and related issues. Includes footage of the parade and of Police and Fire Appreciation Day held in Washington, D.C. on December 1, 1970.
 

At Home with Honor, documentary (34 minute version), 1985

 

At Home with Honor, documentary (29 minute version), 1985

 

Recording of Ray Gimmler's television appearances (approximately 35 minutes), 1989 May

Scope and Contents note

Includes a May 28th appearance on the WWOR-TV, Channel 9 New Jersey television show "Point of View" and a May 29th appearance on Channel 12, Long Island Network News discussing Vietnam War parades.
Film shelf

Video reels (16mm film prints), 1967-1971

 

Support Our Men in Vietnam Parade (3 hours), 1967 May 13

Access

Use copy available on-site for immediate use. Use copy reference number: 93057_f_0011997_r01.

Scope and Contents note

Footage of the parade held on May 13, 1967 on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Spans 4 reels.
 

Support Our Men in Vietnam Parade (30 minute version), 1967 May 13

 

Flag Day Ceremony, Yankee Stadium (7 minutes), 1967 June 14

Access

Use copy available on-site for immediate use. Use copy reference number: 93057_f_0011995_r01.
 

Holland television documentary (34 minutes), 1971

Scope and Contents note

Documentary discussing the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade and related issues. Includes footage of the parade and of Police and Fire Appreciation Day held in Washington, D.C. on December 1, 1970.
 

Sound recordings, 1967-1989

Box 15

Cassette tapes, 1970-1989

 

David Suskind Show, WNEW-TV (2 hours), 1970 June 14

Scope and Contents note

Radio show discussing issues related to Support Our Boys in Vietnam. Spans two cassette tapes.
 

Barry Farber Show, WMCA Radio (2 hours), 1984

Scope and Contents note

Includes segements that aired on February 9 and March 3 of 1984 discussing issues related to Support Our Boys in Vietnam.
 

Joe Allen Show, WBAU Radio (1 hour), 1989 May 29

Scope and Contents note

Radio show discussing issues related to Support Our Boys in Vietnam and Home with Honor parades.
 

Ray Gimmler on Dialogue 101, WCBS Radio (30 minutes), 1989 October 15

Scope and Contents note

Radio show discussing issues related to Support Our Boys in Vietnam and Home with Honor parades.
Box 14

Audio reels, 1967-1970

 

Barry Farber Show, WOR Radio (3 hours), 1967 May 29

Scope and Contents note

Includes guests Ray Gimmler, Martin McNeely, Edward Patantonio, Charles Willis, Lewis Klein, and Leon Becker discussing the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade and Veteran issues. Spans four reels.
 

Audio of Veterans Day memorial services at St. John's Park, Stanford, Connecticut (1 hour), 1967 November 11

Scope and Contents note

Includes recording of speech given by Ray Gimmler. Spans three reels.
 

Barry Farber Show, WOR Radio (3 hours), 1969 November 20

Scope and Contents note

Radio show discussing issues related to Support Our Boys in Vietnam. Spans eight reels.
 

Audio of Holland television documentary (30 minutes), 1970

Note

See video recording description of Holland documentary above.
Boxes 6-13

Oversized Material, 1965-1990

Scope and Contents note

Comprised of We Supported Our Men in Vietnam, Inc. event posters and scrapbooks documenting the organization's activities.
Box 13

Posters, 1967-1985

Scope and Contents note

Includes various posters from the Support Our Boys in Vietnam and Home with Honor parades as well as other events the organization participated in.
 

Scrapbooks, 1965-1990

Scope and Contents note

The scrapbooks contain photographs, clippings, correspondence, and other printed matter documenting the organization's parades and other patriotic activities members participated in, especially related to the Vietnam War. Also included are material specific to Ray Gimmler's participation in other organizations, such as the American Legion. Scrapbooks have been unbound for preservation purposes.
Box 6

"Support Our Boys in Vietnam," 1965-1967

Scope and Contents note

Includes material related to different demonstrations Ray Gimmler participated in with the East Rockaway American Legion in support of the troops in Vietnam.
Box 7

Untitled, 1965-1984

Scope and Contents note

Contains material related to the Support Our Boys in Vietnam Parade held on May 13, 1967, Vietnam veteran and POW issues, and the activities of group members, especially Ray Gimmler. Also includes several photographs of George Bush and meeting with the Council for the Civilized Treatment of P.O.W.s Committee at the United Nations on April 6, 1967.
Box 10

"Support Our Men in Viet Nam [sic] Parades," 1967-1968

Box 11

"Free the Pueblo - 1968; Lights on for Decency - 1969," 1968-1969

Box 12

"POW - MIA Issue - 1969-1983; Home with Honor Parade - 1973," 1969-1983

Box 6

"POW - MIA Issue," 1970-1972

Box 8

"POW - MIA Issue," 1972-1975

Box 9

Untitled, 1983-1990

Scope and Contents note

Contains primarily news clippings related to the return of Vietnam veterans to the United States. Also includes copies of correspondence relating to At Home with Honor and three photographs.