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First Vietnamese-American Congressman Shares His Migration Story

Joseph Cao
The Historic New Orleans Collection
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The end of the Vietnam War ushered in a wave of Vietnamese refugees to the US, creating enclaves in cities like New Orleans. Joseph Cao joined this community when he was in law school. Now a politician who previously served as the representative for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, Cao was just 8 years old when he left South Vietnam. He recalls his memories of the war and its aftermath for the Historic New Orleans Collection’s series, NOLA Life Stories.

Sarah Holtz covers local history. Her work has also aired on Houston Public Media, Northern California Public Media, KFAI, KTOO, KUNM, WCAI, WGBH, and WWOZ.
Mark Cave is an oral historian and senior curator at the Historic New Orleans Collection.