Nixon Library Announces Schedule of 50th Anniversary Vietnam POW Celebration

by | May 8, 2023 | News, Vietnam

The Richard Nixon Foundation is set to host the official celebration of the 50th anniversary of the repatriation of American Prisoners of War from Vietnam. From May 23 to 25, 2023, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, will welcome nearly 200 POWs and their families for three days of reunion events.

The schedule of events includes a community parade, recognition and honors from the U.S. Military, the official opening of a new special exhibit, Captured: Shot Down in Vietnam, and a rare opportunity to hear reflections and stories from the POWs.

The highlight of the celebration will be a recreation of the largest dinner in White House history on May 24, 2023, in honor of the Vietnam POWs. Nearly 200 of the former POWs will dine in the Nixon Library’s White House East Room replica, with menu items and centerpieces looking like those from the dinner fifty years ago.


MAY 23
Gather along Yorba Linda Boulevard in front of the Nixon Library, wearing your patriotic gear and holding your flags!

The public is invited to welcome and greet the POWs on Yorba Linda Boulevard at a Homecoming Parade in front of the Nixon Library on Tuesday, May 23 beginning at 12:30 PM. The parade will travel eastbound between Casa Loma Avenue and Mountain View Avenue. The POWs will assemble in classic convertible cars with escorts from the California Highway Patrol, Orange County’s Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County Fire Authority.  An Air Force Flyover of F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft will occur at 1:30 PM.

MAY 25
Limited space is available for a one-of-a-kind, rare panel discussion featuring once-imprisoned POWs.

Resilience, Fortitude and Faith: Vietnam War POWs Reflect 50 Years Later begins Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 10:00 AM. The panelists are three decorated veterans who were held captive in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp during the Vietnam War: U.S. Navy Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr., U.S. Navy Captain Jack Ensch, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Tom Hanton. They will share their experiences of survival and endurance during their captivity, including physical and emotional torture, as well as the bonds of brotherhood and faith that helped them to persevere.

Registration is required to attend the panel discussion on May 25 and limited tickets will be released on a weekly basis. Registration is available here.


*The Nixon Library is closed to the public, but members of the public are invited and encouraged to gather along Yorba Linda Boulevard to participate in the Homecoming Parade. 

12:30 PM
Homecoming Parade on Yorba Linda Boulevard in front of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library celebrates the arrival of the Vietnam POWs.

1:30 PM
Air Force Flyover of F-35 Lightning II Combat Aircraft

2:00 PM
POWs and their families begin tours of the Nixon Library

5:00 PM
Private dinner and concert for POWs and their families, sponsored by In-N-Out Burger

* The Nixon Library is open to the public, but will close one-hour early at 4pm.

10:00 AM
Captured: Shot Down in Vietnam special exhibition opens to the public
Exhibition made possible by Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. in honor of Ross Perot, Sr.

5:00 PM
Official POW Homecoming Reunion Photograph

6:00 PM
POW Homecoming Reunion Dinner in Nixon Library East Room
Dinner made possible by Ling and Charlie Zhang

10:00 AM
Resilience, Fortitude and Faith: Vietnam War POWs Reflect 50 Years Later
POW Panel Discussion in the Nixon Library East Room

The Nixon Foundation is grateful to the following supporters for their major commitments to celebrate America’s POWs:

Airpower Foundation
American Airlines
Gary Sinise Foundation

In-N-Out Burgers
Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. in honor of Ross Perot Sr.
Ling and Charlie Zhang

The Nixon Foundation would like to recognize the additional generosity of:

Air Warrior Courage Foundation
Mr. Sandy Alderson
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Boeing Company
Boston Red Sox
Ms. Sharon Driscoll
Ron and Alexis Fowler
General Atomics Aerospace Systems

La Jolla MJ Management, LLC
La Playa, LLC
Liberty Military Housing
Lockheed Martin Company
The Drs. Jack and Jennifer London Charitable Fund
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
Major League Baseball
Mariposa Butterfly Festival
Navy Federal Credit Union
Newport News Shipbuilding – Huntington Ingalls Industries
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Pratt & Whitney Aerospace Company
Robert Irvine Foundation
San Diego Padres
Signature Flight Services
Ms. Brenda Stewart
Sudberry Properties
USS Midway Museum
United States Automobile Association
Vanguard Marketing Corporation
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Worcester Red Sox

The Nixon Foundation would like to thank our Presidential Partners:

Zion Enterprises

William E. Simon Foundation

City of Hope



UCI Health

Stanbridge University

Ganahl Lumber

Providence / St. Jude Hospital

Providence / St. Joseph Hospital

Providence / Mission Hospital

The Crow Foundation

California Bank & Trust