The Vietnam War in Southern California

The Vietnam War impacted an entire generation, and it has had a unique impact on Southern California. Southern California is home to both the largest veteran population in the country (1.9 million veterans) and the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. As your local station, it is our goal to create space for these and the myriad of other perspectives that people in southern California lived during this era. Join us for two special events.

PBS SoCal Local Events

Listen Live: Stories of the Vietnam War

Join PBS SoCal for an evening of storytelling inspired by the epic new Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War. Explore the era’s history from a number of diverse local perspectives as you hear from local storytellers, watch select clips from the film, participate in a “human library,” and explore an exhibition of a mixed-media helicopter sculpture that served as an air ambulance during the Vietnam War.

Where: Assistance League Playhouse

When: October 6, 7:30 p.m.


Beyond the Groove: The Vietnam War Through Music

Join PBS SoCal at the Grammy Museum October 25 for an evening exploring the Vietnam war through music. Songs have a unique way of recalling specific emotions and moments, and this event connects the iconic music of the 1960s and 70s to personal, local stories in support of the epic new Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War. The night will include live musical performances, local storytellers, and selections from the film--an immersive experience that aims to bring the Vietnam War era to life through music.

Where: The Grammy Museum

When: October 25


About The Film

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides—Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam.

Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. THE VIETNAM WAR features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from greatest artists of the era and haunting original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

Vietnam War - Preview

Vietnam Stories