Inspired by the Academy Award®-nominated film Last Days in Vietnam, which chronicles the harrowing final hours of the Vietnam War, we joined forces with StoryCorps to create the First Days Story Project—an effort to collect, preserve, and celebrate the stories of Vietnamese American refugees and Vietnam veterans. The project invited over 200 participants to have 40-minute, uninterrupted conversations with a loved one or friend, in order to document the Vietnamese American refugee experience through the voices of those who lived it. The resulting content is featured on this website and archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
We invite you to experience the power of these personal narratives by listening to the audio stories and exploring the photo galleries on the site. These first-hand accounts of our participants' "first days" in the United States are a testament to resilience and bravery in the face of great odds.