• Dien Bien Phu

    Vietnam forces occupy Dien Bien Phu against the French.
  • Creation of the Ho Chi Minh trail

    A specialized North Vietnamese Army unit, Group 559, is formed to create a supply route from North Vietnam to Vietcong forces in South Vietnam
  • United States becomes actively involved

    American helicopters arrive at docks in South Vietnam along with 400 U.S. personnel, who will fly and maintain the aircraft.
  • Operation Rangeland

    The goal of Ranchhand is to clear vegetation alongside highways, making it more difficult for the Vietcong to conceal themselves for ambushes.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Attack

    South Vietnamese commandos attack two small North Vietnamese islands in the Gulf of Tonkin.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    The U.S. congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson the power to take whatever actions he sees necessary to defend southeast Asia.
  • Rolling Thunder Begins

    President Johnson authorizes Operation Rolling Thunder, a limited but long lasting bombing offensive. Its aim is to force North Vietnam to stop supporting Vietcong guerrillas in the South.
  • US offers peace for economic aid proposal

    The U.S. offers North Vietnam economic aid in exchange for peace, but the offer is summarily rejected.
  • First major battle of Vietnam War for American Units

    After a deserter from the 1st Vietcong regiment reveals that an attack is imminent against the U.S. Marine base at Chu Lai, the American army launches Operation Starlite
  • President Johnson commits over 60000 troops to Vietnam

    President Johnson commits over 60000 troops to Vietnam.
  • American forces total 385000

    American forces total 385000.
  • Operation Junction City

    In one of the largest air-mobile assaults ever, 240 helicopters sweep over Tay Ninh province, beginning Operation Junction City. The goal of Junction City is to destroy Vietcong bases and the Vietcong military headquarters for South Vietnam, all of which are located in War Zone C, north of Saigon.
  • Khe Sanh attacked by Vietcong

    Eighteen Marines are killed instantly, 40 are wounded. The initial attack continues for two days.
  • Tet Offensive begins

    On the Tet holiday, Vietcong units surge into action over the length and breadth of South Vietnam.
  • My Lai massacre

    In the hamlet of My Lai, U.S. Charlie Company kills about two hundred civilians.
  • Rolling Thunder Ends

    After three-and-a-half years, Operation Rolling Thunder comes to an end. In total, the campaign had cost more than 900 American aircraft
  • Nixon takes office

    Nixon takes office.
  • Operation Menu

    In spite of government restrictions, President Nixon authorizes Operation Menu, the bombing of North Vietnamese and Vietcong bases within Cambodia.
  • Spraying of Agent Orange ends

    Operation Ranchhand has sprayed 11 million gallons of Agent Orange -- containing 240 pounds of the lethal chemical Dioxin -- on South Vietnam. More than one seventh of the country's total area has been laid waste.
  • All but 133000 US troops have come home

    All but 133000 US troops have come home
  • Peace talks break down

    In Paris, peace talks between the North Vietnamese and the Americans breakdown.
  • Peace talks resume

    North Vietnam and the United States resume peace talks in Paris
  • Cease fire signed

    All warring parties in the Vietnam War sign a cease fire
  • Nixon Resigns

    President Richard M. Nixon resigns, leaving South Vietnam without its strongest advocate
  • Last casualties for the US and final evacuation

    Last casualties for the US and final evacuation