May 28, 2022 – August 20, 2022
The Vietnam War (1954-1975) was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians.
The war left a deep and lasting impression in American life, from its impact on the men and women who fought in it, to the journalists and photographers who covered it, to the millions of Americans who protested against it or supported it. Due to an uncensored press, the world knew and saw more of this war than any in history before or since.
To cover the War, The Associated Press (AP) gathered an extraordinary group of superb photojournalists in its Saigon bureau, creating one of the greatest photographic legacies of the 20th century. The AP won six Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage, four of them for photography.
Now, drawn from AP’s photo history of the conflict, Vietnam: The Real War, featuring a selection of 50 large-format images curated by the Associated Press, will be presented at the Upcountry History Museum. The exhibition tells the human story of the War, from the American presence starting as a trickle of military advisers in the late 1950s, through dramatic operations involving thousands of soldiers in the 1960s, to the fall of Saigon in 1975. These are pictures that both recorded and made history, taken by courageous photojournalists.
As we begin to look back from the vantage point of half a century, Vietnam: The Real War serves as a photographic record of the drama and tragedy of the Vietnam War.
The Upcountry History Museum will include objects, archival materials and oral histories from its permanent collection to support and further illustrate the impact of the Vietnam War. The Museum will partner with Upstate veterans and military organizations to insure the preservation and presentation of our community’s history and stories.