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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Vietnam War inflamed a social divide that evolved into unprecedented cultural and political movements on the West Coast and in turn redefined America. In What's Going On? - California and the Vietnam Era, the Oakland Museum of California explores the impact of the Vietnam conflict on California life and culture. The exhibition opens Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004, and continues through Feb. 27, 2005. Audio guides will be available in English, Vietnamese and Spanish.
The 7,000-square-foot exhibition includes more than 500 historical artifacts, photographs and documents interwoven with film clips, music, and oral histories, many contributed from veterans and former refugees. The exhibition covers the period from the Cold War of the 1950s to the present, with emphasis on the tumultuous decade from President Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965 through the war's end, in 1975.
During that period, California was the epicenter of the war's domestic front. Within its boundaries were most of the nation's defense contractors, principal military centers from which troops were trained …