1960s Vietnam Timeline by:Kim Baker

  • Vietnam Divided

    Vietnam Divided
    Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel. Ho Chi Minh's Communists on the north. Bao Dai's regime non communist in the south.
  • Period: to

    Vietnam Timeline

  • Ngo Dinh Diem

    Ngo Dinh Diem
    In the South, Bao Dai has installed Ngo Dinh Diem as his prime minister.
  • First Shipment

    First Shipment
    The first direct shipment of U.S. military aid to Saigon arrives. The U.S. also offers to train the fledgling South Vietnam Army.
  • Support of new government

    Support of new government
    The Republic of South Vietnam is proclaimed with Diem as its first president. In America, President Eisenhower pledges his support for the new government and offers military aid.
  • French Soliders Leave

    French Soliders Leave
    The last French soldier leaves South Vietnam. The French High Command for Indochina is then dissolved.
  • Diem visits USA

    Diem visits USA
    Diem visits to Washington where President Eisenhower labels him the "miracle man" of Asia and reaffirms U.S. commitment. "The cost of defending freedom, of defending America, must be paid in many forms and in many places...military as well as economic help is currently needed in Vietnam," Eisenhower states.
  • Ho Chi Minh trail begins

    Ho Chi Minh trail begins
    May 1959 - North Vietnamese establish the Central Office of South Vietnam (COSVN) to oversee the coming war in the South. Construction of the Ho Chi Minh trail now begins.
  • First Amercan death in second Indochina war

    First Amercan death in second Indochina war
    Two U.S. military advisors, Maj. Dale Buis and Sgt. Chester Ovnand, are killed by Viet Minh guerrillas at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. They are the first American deaths in the Second Indochina War which Americans will come to know simply as The Vietnam War.
  • National Liberation Front

    National Liberation Front
    The National Liberation Front is established by Hanoi as its Communist political organization for Viet Cong guerrillas in South Vietnam.
  • JFK inaugrated

    JFK inaugrated
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th U.S. President and declares "...we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to insure the survival and the success of liberty."
  • Kennedy's letter

    Kennedy's letter
    October 24, 1961 - On the sixth anniversary of the Republic of South Vietnam, President Kennedy sends a letter to President Diem and pledges "the United States is determined to help Vietnam preserve its independence..."
  • Foreign Assistance Act

    Foreign Assistance Act
    President Kennedy signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962 which provides "...military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack."
  • Battle of Ap Bac

    Battle of Ap Bac
    A Viet Cong victory in the Battle of Ap Bac makes front page news in America as 350 Viet Cong fighters defeat a large force of American-equipped South Vietnamese troops attempting to seize a radio transmitter. Three American helicopter crew members are killed.
  • JFK assassinated

    JFK assassinated
    President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the 36th U.S. President. He is the fourth President coping with Vietnam and will oversee massive escalation of the war while utilizing many of the same policy advisors who served Kennedy.
  • Bombing of North Vietnam

    Bombing of North Vietnam
    The U.S. National Security Council recommends the bombing of North Vietnam. President Johnson approves only the planning phase by the Pentagon.
  • Soviet New Leader

    Soviet New Leader
    Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev is ousted from power, replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the U.S.S.R.
  • New control of South Vietnam

    New control of South Vietnam
    General Khanh seizes full control of South Vietnam's government.
  • Operation Cedar Falls

    Operation Cedar Falls
    Operation Cedar Falls occurs. It is the largest combined offensive to date and involves 16,000 American and 14,000 South Vietnamese soldiers clearing out Viet Cong from the 'Iron Triangle' area 25 miles northwest of Saigon. The Viet Cong choose not to fight and instead melt away into the jungle. Americans then uncover an extensive network of tunnels and for the first time use 'tunnel rats,' the nickname given to specially trained volunteers who explore the maze of tunnels.
  • Operation Junction City

    Operation Junction City
    February 22-May 14 - The largest U.S. military offensive of the war occurs. Operation Junction City involves 22 U.S. and four South Vietnamese battalions attempting to destroy the NVA's Central Office headquarters in South Vietnam.
  • Demilitarized Zones

    Demilitarized Zones
    U.S. and South Vietnamese troops enter the Demilitarized Zone for the first time and engage in a series of fire fights with NVA. Both sides suffer heavy losses.
  • The turning point

    The turning point
    ]The turning point of the war occurs as 84,000 Viet Cong guerrillas aided by NVA troops launch the Tet Offensive attacking a hundred cities and towns throughout South Vietnam.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder ends

    Operation Rolling Thunder ends
    Operation Rolling Thunder ends as President Johnson announces a complete halt of U.S. bombing of North Vietnam in the hope of restarting the peace talks.
  • First troop Withdrawal

    First troop Withdrawal
    The very first U.S. troop withdrawal occurs as 800 men from the 9th Infantry Division are sent home. The phased troop withdrawal will occur in 14 stages from July 1969 through November 1972.
  • Lottery Draft

    Lottery Draft
    The first draft lottery since World War II is held in New York City. Each day of the year is randomly assigned a number from 1-365. Those with birthdays on days that wind up with a low number will likely be drafted.
  • Bombing

    Bombing
    The U.S. heavily bombs military installations in North Vietnam citing violations of the agreements surrounding the 1968 bombing halt.
  • Eight point peace plan

    President Nixon announces a proposed eight point peace plan for Vietnam and also reveals that Kissinger has been secretly negotiating with the North Vietnamese. However, Hanoi rejects Nixon's peace overture.
  • Last Depart

    Last Depart
    The last U.S. combat troops depart Vietnam.
  • The war is over

    The war is over
    At 8:35 a.m., the last Americans, ten Marines from the embassy, depart Saigon, concluding the United States presence in Vietnam. North Vietnamese troops pour into Saigon and encounter little resistance. By 11 a.m., the red and blue Viet Cong flag flies from the presidential palace. President Minh broadcasts a message of unconditional surrender. The war is over.