Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW)
Viet Nam Veterans Against the War was founded in 1967 and, at the height of its effectiveness in the late 1960s, claimed over 40,000 members. VVAW participated in and organized antiwar demonstrations, public education efforts, militant actions, and public hearings. The full text of one public hearing, The Winter Soldier Investigation (1970), is made available by the Sixties Project. We hope to bring more 1960s VVAW material on-line in the near future.
The Sixties Project also archives the following documents on VVAW:
VVAW still exists today. The VVAW of the 1990s is quite different from the VVAW of the 1960s, but still maintains an active presence as a veterans' peace organization. As the number of American soldiers in Vietnam decreased in the early 1970s, membership in the VVAW (along with antiwar activism in general) waned. In the mid-1970s the shrinking VVAW was riven by a struggle between radical and liberal members. After a contested election in 1978 and a lawsuit between feuding parties, the energies of both sides were diminished. The liberal wing won the right to use the VVAW name, and the much smaller radical Marxist wing was granted the appellation VVAW-AI (Anti-Imperialist). Both groups were quickly overshadowed by the newer Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) founded in 1978 by Robert Muller, which is currently the largest Vietnam veterans organization. Since the late 1980s, VVA has itself split into two organizations--the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation was started by Muller when he departed Vietnam Veterans of America.
The Sixties Project supports the peace efforts of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc., and is committed to keeping the history of VVAW alive. On a personal note, as the publisher of Viet Nam Generation: A Journal of Recent History and Contemporary Culture, and the founder of the Sixties Project, I have worked with members of both VVAW and the far smaller VVAW-AI organizations and I sincerely hope that conflict between these two organizations--both dedicated to peacework--can be set aside.
Updated Thursday, January 28, 1999