Text: H.R.5212 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 106-380 (10/27/2000)
[106th Congress Public Law 380]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 114 STAT. 1]]
Public Law 106-380
To direct the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to
establish a program to collect video and audio recordings of personal
histories and testimonials of American war veterans, and for other
purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 27, 2000 - [H.R. 5212]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled <<NOTE: Veterans' Oral
History Project Act.>>
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2101 note.>>
This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans' Oral History Project Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2141.>>
(a) Findings.--Congress finds as follows:
(1) Military service during a time of war is the highest
sacrifice a citizen may make for his or her country.
(2) 4,700,000 Americans served in World War I, 16,500,000
Americans served in World War II, 6,800,000 Americans served in
the Korean Conflict, 9,200,000 Americans served in the Vietnam
Conflict, 3,800,000 Americans served in the Persian Gulf War,
and countless other Americans served in military engagements
overseas throughout the 20th century.
(3) The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that there
are almost 19,000,000 war veterans living in this Nation today.
(4) Today there are only approximately 3,400 living veterans
of World War I, and of the some 6,000,000 veterans of World War
II alive today, almost 1,500 die each day.
(5) Oral histories are of immeasurable value to historians,
researchers, authors, journalists, film makers, scholars,
students, and citizens of all walks of life.
(6) War veterans possess an invaluable resource in their
memories of the conflicts in which they served, and can provide
a rich history of our Nation and its people through the
retelling of those memories, yet frequently those who served
during times of conflict are reticent to family and friends
about their experiences.
(7) It is in the Nation's best interest to collect and
catalog oral histories of American war veterans so that future
generations will have original sources of information regarding
the lives and times of those who served in war and the
conditions under which they endured, so that Americans will
always remember those who served in war and may learn first-hand
of the heroics, tediousness, horrors, and triumphs of war.
(8) The Library of Congress, as the Nation's oldest Federal
cultural institution and largest and most inclusive library in
human history (with nearly 119,000,000 items in its multimedia
[[Page 114 STAT. 2]]
collection) is an appropriate repository to collect, preserve,
and make available to the public an archive of these oral
histories. The Library's American Folklife Center has expertise
in the management of documentation projects and experience in
the development of cultural and educational programs for the
(b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this Act to create a new
federally sponsored, authorized, and funded program that will coordinate
at a national level the collection of video and audio recordings of
personal histories and testimonials of American war veterans, and to
assist and encourage local efforts to preserve the memories of this
Nation's war veterans so that Americans of all current and future
generations may hear directly from veterans and better appreciate the
realities of war and the sacrifices made by those who served in uniform
SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2142.>> ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM AT AMERICAN
FOLKLIFE CENTER TO COLLECT VIDEO AND AUDIO RECORDINGS OF
HISTORIES OF VETERANS.
(a) In General.--The Director of the American Folklife Center at the
Library of Congress shall establish an oral history program--
(1) to collect video and audio recordings of personal
histories and testimonials of veterans of the Armed Forces who
served during a period of war;
(2) to create a collection of the recordings obtained
(including a catalog and index) which will be available for
public use through the National Digital Library of the Library
of Congress and such other methods as the Director considers
appropriate to the extent feasible subject to available
(3) to solicit, reproduce, and collect written materials
(such as letters and diaries) relevant to the personal histories
of veterans of the Armed Forces who served during a period of
war and to catalog such materials in a manner the Director
considers appropriate, consistent with and complimentary to the
efforts described in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(b) Use of and Consultation With Other Entities.--The Director may
carry out the activities described in paragraphs (1) and (3) of
subsection (a) through agreements and partnerships entered into with
other government and private entities, and may otherwise consult with
interested persons (within the limits of available resources) and
develop appropriate guidelines and arrangements for soliciting,
acquiring, and making available recordings under the program under this
(c) Timing.--As soon as practicable after the enactment of this Act,
the Director shall begin collecting video and audio recordings under
subsection (a)(1), and shall attempt to collect the first such
recordings from the oldest veterans.
SEC. 4. PRIVATE SUPPORT. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2143.>>
(a) Acceptance of Donations.--The Librarian of Congress may solicit
and accept donations of funds and in-kind contributions to carry out the
oral history program under section 3.
(b) Establishment of Separate Gift Account.--There is established in
the Treasury (among the accounts of the Library of Congress) a gift
account for the oral history program under section 3.
[[Page 114 STAT. 3]]
(c) Dedication of Funds.--Notwithstanding any other provision of
(1) any funds donated to the Librarian of Congress to carry
out the oral history program under section 3 shall be deposited
entirely into the gift account established under subsection (b);
(2) the funds contained in such account shall be used solely
to carry out the oral history program under section 3; and
(3) the Librarian of Congress may not deposit into such
account any funds donated to the Librarian which are not donated
for the exclusive purpose of carrying out the oral history
program under section 3.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2144.>>
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act--
(1) $250,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
(2) such sums as may be necessary for each succeeding fiscal
Approved October 27, 2000.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 5212:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 146 (2000):
Oct. 4, considered and passed House.
Oct. 17, considered and passed Senate.