The Vietnam War: 1945-1975

April 13 – Sept. 22, 2019

This exhibit contains some graphic content and images of war that may not be appropriate for young children.

It’s the war that changed us forever. The war that still haunts America’s dreams. And the war the war that left us with more questions than answers.

The History Center’s newest exhibition explores one of the nation’s most controversial conflicts – the Vietnam War.

Developed in partnership with the New-York Historical Society, The Vietnam War: 1945-1975 exhibition takes visitors on a journey spanning the duration of U.S. involvement in Indochina, from the post-World War II advent of the Cold War to our prolonged exit in the mid-1970s. The exhibition showcases the key players and turning points of the complex war and explores how the conflict heavily impacted our nation’s trust in government, economics, popular culture, and identity.

The groundbreaking exhibit uses powerful photography, fascinating artifacts, and more than 20 audio/visual displays to tell the deeply personal stories of the men and women who were impacted by the war, from the home front to the front lines.

Peer into the cockpit of the exhibit’s largest and most iconic artifact – a UH-1H “Huey” helicopter with a 48-foot wingspan used by the U.S. Army from 1967-1970.

Watch news reels in a re-created 1960s living room that demonstrates why the conflict is often referred to as the first “television war,” and hear the soundtrack of a generation with music by legendary artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Jimi Hendrix.

See the Bronze Star awarded to beloved Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Vietnam War veteran Rocky Bleier, who won four Super Bowls after returning from combat, where he was seriously wounded by rifle and grenade fire.

Honor our region’s fallen veterans at the exhibit’s 22-foot-wide, 8-foot-tall replica of the Vietnam War Memorial that includes the names of 752 Americans killed during the war from eight counties in Western Pa. (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland).

Part of the History Center’s America 101 initiative, The Vietnam War: 1945-1975 exhibit also looks closely at the important civics lessons brought to light during the Vietnam War, including the draft, the growth of the anti-war movement, the role of the president, and the loss of political consensus.

Special Admission Rates for Veterans and Active Military

The History Center will offer special free admission days and discounts for veterans and active duty military throughout The Vietnam War: 1945-1975 exhibition run.

From Saturday, April 13 through Sunday, Sept. 22, all veterans and active duty military will receive half-off museum admission ($9 compared to the regular $18 admission fee).

Additionally, on the following special dates, all veterans and active duty military will receive FREE admission:

  • April 13 – Opening Day
  • May 25-27 – Memorial Day Weekend
  • July 4 – Independence Day

Regular museum admission rates: $18 for adults, $15 for senior citizens (62+), $9 for students with a valid school ID, $9 for children ages 6-17, and free for History Center members and children ages 5 and under.

Exhibit Events

Vietnam Voices

Speak with an eyewitness to history who represents one of many diverse perspectives on the Vietnam War inside the History Center’s The Vietnam War: 1945-1975 exhibit.

Vietnam Voices participants in the gallery will range from those who served in Vietnam, those who supported the war at home, and those who opposed the war.

These sessions take place every third Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and on Open-Late Vietnam Film Series evenings and are included with admission.

Please note that Vietnam Voices participants will be sharing personal experiences related to war. These stories may include adult themes and language.

Interested in being a Vietnam Voice?

To learn more, please contact Laura Myers at 412-454-6428 or lfmyers@heinzhistorycenter.org.

The Vietnam War exhibit’s centerpiece is a UH-1H “Huey” helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopters in 1966 and used by the U.S. Army from 1967 through 1970 during the Vietnam War. Watch this timelapse video for a behind-the-scenes look at how this massive artifact came together inside the Heinz History Center.

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