September 2, 2017 - January 7, 2018


Picturing Nam: U.S. Military Photography

of the Vietnam War





Photographs are a powerful part of our collective memory of the Vietnam War. Military photographers stationed in Vietnam took thousands of photographs that covered every aspect of the conflict—photographs that are now part of our National Archives.



Their assignments sent them everywhere: the jungles and swamps, forward bases, hospital ships, rivers, and air bases. Unsanitized and uncensored, these indelible images give an intimate and ground up view of the war and those who fought it.



"Picturing Nam" is divided into three themes:



Most Americans knew almost nothing about Vietnam before the war. Many soldiers, sailors, and airmen seeing Vietnam’s dense jungles, rugged mountains, murky swamps, endless rice paddies, and brown rivers for the first time must have felt very far from home.



Wars are often summed up and remembered through artifacts. The Vietnam War created its own set of memorable objects, many of which appear in military photographs, including helicopters, M-16 rifles, graffiti-covered helmets, Phantom jets, peace symbol necklaces, and body bags.



War puts individuals into extraordinary and dangerous situations. Such circumstances fostered determination, anxiety, exhaustion, boredom, compassion, exaltation, and dread–feelings that are seen in the faces of those who were there.


"Picturing Nam" is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration, and traveled by the National Archives Traveling Exhibits Service. It is presented in part by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, AARP, and the National Archives Foundation..




Also on exhibit are 13 televised Addresses to the Nation made by President Nixon between May 1969 and March 1973 on the war in Vietnam and the situation in Southeast Asia.



About the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum:

The Nixon Presidential Library recently reopened the museum after a $15 million redesign of the permanent galleries. Guests can now experience a state-of-the-art learning environment that inspires critical thinking about the life and career of our 37th president and his era.


The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is one of thirteen Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is open year round with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Cameras are allowed in the museum but we ask that you do not use tripods, selfie sticks, or flash photography.


Museum Hours:

Monday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


The Museum is fully handicapped accessible.

For more information about museum visitor hours and researcher hours, call 714-983-9120 or go to


Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886


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