West Virginia University journalism Professor George Esper can vividly recall Jan. 27, 1973, the day the United States and North Vietnam signed a treaty ending U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. He was in Vietnam covering the war for The Associated Press.
“President Nixon hailed the agreement as peace with honor in Vietnam,”said Esper, who holds the Shott Chair in Journalism in the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism.”Americas longest war was over. Its nearly 600 prisoners of war would soon come home.
He added,”Even though the treaty ended U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and brought American POWs home, the peace accords never really held, and the fighting and dying continued for the Vietnamese for two more years before Saigon fell to the Communists.”
Esper, who has been with AP for more than 40 years, covered the Vietnam war from 1965-75. He has written The Eyewitness History of the Vietnam War, a book that tells the human side of the war. The 1992 WVU Distinguished Alumnus is the first person to hold the Shott Chair in Journalism, created by a $1 million endowment from the Hugh I. Shott Jr. Foundation.
p. Esper is available to speak to the media about his reflections on the Vietnam war. He may be reached at his office in Morgantown at 304-293-3505, ext.5424; his Uniontown, Pa., home at 724-437-4912; or his AP desk in Boston at 617-357-8100.
p. Two WVU journalism professors who are organizing an April 7 panel discussion of women Vietnam war correspondents are also available to speak to reporters about the event. Ten well-known women journalists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frances Fitzgerald and war correspondent Edie Lederer, will participate in the panel discussion.
Christine Martin, interim journalism dean, and Maryanne Reed, broadcast news sequence coordinator, are coordinating the panel discussion, On the Frontlines: The Women Who Covered the Vietnam War and Changed Journalism History. The event is made possible by the Judith Gold Stitzel Endowment for Excellence in Womens Studies.
p. For more on the forum, media may contact Martin at 304-293-3505, ext. 5413 or Reed at 293-3505, ext. 5409.