Go deeper into the history of each park with scholarly articles and essays from Oxford University Press, freely available for the centennial year.

Oxford Reference


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin, was intended to recognize veterans of the war, who many felt had been overlooked in the politics of the war. Lin designed the wall to be simple and elegant. It lists the names of the soldiers killed in the war. Jan Scruggs, who served as an infantry corporal in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970, began the project. With U.S. Senate support for the idea, Senator Charles Mathias, Jr., on 8 November 1979 introduced legislation authorizing a site of national parkland for the memorial. On 1 July 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation to authorize the site in Constitution Gardens near the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial was completed in 1984.

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