A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Essential Shorts

To provide a historical context for the thousands personal accounts within the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative, TPT produced a series of three animated short videos focused on the motivations and milestones that defined the era. Ideal for viewing on mobile devices, these short videos can open a channel to greater intergenerational understanding.  Select school teachers played a role in developing these shorts.


While US presidents set out to stop communism during the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese saw the American War as part of an ongoing 50 year civil war for independence and unification that claimed millions of lives, especially civilians.


Unforgettable images both here and abroad defined the Vietnam War Era. The stories of those depicted deserve a closer look. Decades later, these images still inform our thinking about this troubled time.


Bureaucrats balked when Vietnam veteran Jan Scruggs proposed the National Mall as a site for a memorial to honor the 58,000 who died during the Vietnam War. A national design competition was held to select the memorial’s design. A young Yale undergrad, Maya Lin, was the winning designer who created a memorial that is now known worldwide.



These “Essential Shorts” were created by TPT for Minnesota Remembers Vietnam.¬†Illustrations by artist David Geister, script by Randal Dietrich, voice-over by Leigha Horton, and editing by Ned Hurley.

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