Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Attention A T users. To access the combo box on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Press the alt key and then the down arrow. 2. Use the up and down arrows to navigate this combo box. 3. Press enter on the item you wish to view. This will take you to the page listed.
Menu
Menu
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

VA History Office

Pause1 Play1
History of VA in 100 Objects

EXHIBIT - HISTORY OF VA IN 100 OBJECTS: If you wanted to create an album of your family’s history but were limited to 100 items, what would you put in and what would you leave out? These were the questions that the VA historians asked in compiling the History of VA in 100 Objects exhibit. READ ON - JOURNEY THROUGH VA'S PAST, OBJECT BY OBJECT»

EXHIBIT - 19th Century Landscaping at NHDVS

EXHIBIT - 19TH CENTURY LANDSCAPING AT NATIONAL HOMES: The branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers were all designed like military installations, with the residents - the Veterans - centrally located and other amenities nearby. At these branches, landscaping was an essential element to increase the natural beauty of the sprawling campuses. CLICK TO READ ON»

Where’s the Tumor? Preserving Medical Innovation Artifacts

WHERE’S THE TUMOR? PRESERVING MEDICAL INNOVATION ARTIFACTS: There’s a 3D tumor out there and the VA History Center wants it. The quest for artifacts is a constant challenge. It’s not simply a question of what to collect, but when, where, and how to collect items of potential value. In this case, the hunt is on for an item used in an innovative collaboration. READ ON»

NCA wayside sign dedication

BLACK HOUSTON MUTINEERS LEGACY: On February 22, 2022, the NCA unveiled a sign at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery near seventeen graves of Black World War I soldiers executed by the Army as mutineers after a violent, racially driven melee in Houston. The events led to an immediate, historic change to the courts-martial appellate-review process in 1918. READ ON» 

 
NOTE: The VA History Office has experienced some technical issues with receiving email. If anyone has sent an email to the VA History Team from the "Contact Us" page and have not heard from us in 3 days, please submit your request again. Thank you.
VA History news subscription banner.
Want to receive updates on new features, cool history facts and learn more about VA History? Well....CLICK ABOVE TO SIGN UP!
VA History banner

Department of Veterans Affairs History 

Welcome to VA's history website!


Thank you for your interest in VA's history. Here you will find a growing collection of features, content, and multimedia that dive into the VA story and learn the HISTORY of VA's services to those who served.

To navigate, click on the links below to find the various pages of our site. The VA History page is the general history of VA as a whole, as well as the heritage of each distinct VA Administration. Our Features page is where fresh, new content will be posted approximately every one to two weeks. Also here is progress made on the National VA History Center - a museum and archival center where researchers and the public will be able to see firsthand how VA impacts our nation. Our footprint is growing, so check back often to see what VA History has for you!

VA's story and history.

HISTORY OF VA AND ITS ADMINISTRATIONS

How did VA start? Department of Veteran Affairs has not always been its name. The origin story of the modern VA includes many previous entities and names dating back as far as the American colonies. You'll find all that on this site! National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Veterans Bureau, Bureau of Pensions, War Risk Bureau, and Veterans Administration. So. Many. Names. Our team of historians have untangled this lineage and provided it in a chronological format for you to learn. VA's history is also complemented by the backstory of the three VA Administrations, which is coming soon! VA HISTORY»

VA History Features

VA HISTORY FEATURE STORIES

This is the good stuff! What's covered? EVERYTHING. The people, events, accomplishments, and moments captured that illustrate VA's remarkable evolution serving Veterans. Feature content will be added approximately every 1 - 2 weeks. If you want these stories sent to your email - sign up for the VA History subscription service. Check out today all the FEATURE STORIES»

History of VA in 100 Objects

HISTORY OF VA IN 100 OBJECTS EXHIBIT

If you wanted to create an album of your family’s history but were limited to 100 items, what would you put in and what would you leave out? These were the questions that the VA historians asked in compiling the History of VA in 100 Objects virtual exhibit. The exhibit tells the history of the nation’s efforts to honor and reward Veterans for their services by spotlighting individual objects that illuminate key parts of that story. ADDITIONAL ENTRIES will appear in no particular chronological order at the rate of two per week. We hope you will join us as we embark on this journey through VA’s past, object by object. 100 OBJECTS»

National VA History Center

NATIONAL VA HISTORY CENTER

The National VA History Center (NVAHC) is the forthcoming museum and archival center for all things historical in the VA mission and located at the Dayton VA Medical Center campus - itself a designated National Historic Landmark. While the idea of NVAHC is not new, recent actions to make it a reality are. Ceremonies marking its official establishment - and the start of renovation work on two historic buildings to house the collection - were held in August 2020. The public opening of the NVAHC isn't expected for several years, but fascinating work is ongoing behind the scenes. Look for monthly updates in the Curator Corner, which will illustrate the multi-faceted steps that go into establishing a museum and collection from scratch! This will be the GO-TO home for the History Center and the VA history collection. FUTURE SITE OF THE NATIONAL VA HISTORY CENTER AND ARCHIVE»

Multimedia page

MULTIMEDIA - VIDEOS AND PODCASTS

Our Historians strive to tell VAs story across many different platforms. On this page are links to videos and podcasts that our Historians host or are guest speakers. Have a couple minutes to fill? Need something to listen to while driving down the road or while working in the yard? Then head here, download or click the links and enjoy some history. CHECK OUT THE LATEST VIDEOS AND PODCASTS FROM OUR HISTORIAN TEAM»



President Abraham Lincoln giving his second inaugural address 1865.

President Abraham Lincoln gives his second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865. (Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.)

Connect with us

Subscribe to Receive
Email Updates
  • Benefits:
    1-800-827-1000
  • Health Care:
    1-877-222-VETS (8387)
  • VA Inspector General: 1-800-488-8244
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1

Share

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blog
  • Youtube
  • Flickr