The Vietnam War (GCU 113: 1954 - 1980)

  • Eisenhower Rejects Troop Committment

    Eisenhower Rejects Troop Committment
    "The Pentagon Papers," Gravel Edition, Vol. 1 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), 593. President Dwight D. Eisenhower refuses to commit American troops to the French Indochina War (Vietnam). In The President's News Conference he states, "I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy for America than to get heavily involved now in an all-out war in any of those regions."
  • Japanese Occupation

    Japanese Occupation
    Japan occupies Indochina and Bao Dai is "placed" as the last Emperor of Vietnam creating the illusion of an independent Vietnamese state (http://saigon-vietnam.fr/bao-dai-dalat.php).
  • Dien Bien Phu Begins

    Dien Bien Phu Begins
    "Giap launched a massive assault on strong point Beatrice.Strong points Gabrielle and Anne-Marie were overrun during the next two days, which denied the French use of the airfield, the key to the French defense."
  • Siege at Dien Bien Phu

    Siege at Dien Bien Phu
    "Nearly 10,000 French soldiers are trapped by 45,000 Viet Minh. The French urgently appeal to Washington for help [but] President Eisenhower dismisses the conventional air raid and the nuclear option [due to] negative response from Britain. Eisenhower also decides against sending U.S. troops [due to] high casualty rates. No action is taken."
  • Chinese assist Giap

    Chinese assist Giap
    "The Chinese army is prepared. Horrific losses caused Giap [Vietnamese commander credited with defeating the Japanese, the French & the Americans] to suspend his offensives [until] the Chinese intervened [with] reinforcements [and] rocket launchers, while Chinese military engineers retrained the Viet Minh in siege tactics" (http://www.history.com/topics/battle-of-dien-bien-phu).
  • "President Eisenhower gave an historic press conference."

    "President Eisenhower gave an historic press conference."
    "Eisenhower’s announcement of the “'domino theory'” laid the foundation for U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He spent much of the speech explaining the significance of Vietnam to the United States."
  • Nixon Supports Troop Committment

    Nixon Supports Troop Committment
    "If in order to avoid further Communist expansion in Asia and particularly in Indo-China, if in order to avoid it we must take the risk by putting American boys in, I believe that the executive branch of the government has to take the politically unpopular position of facing up to it and doing it, and I personally would support such a decision" (http://voiceseducation.org/node/413).
  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    Geneva Conference begins drawing up a collection of documents relating to Indochina which would split Vietnam. "Attended by representatives of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, France, Laos, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, the Viet Minh (i.e., the North Vietnamese), and the State of Vietnam (i.e., the South Vietnamese)" (http://www.britannica.com/event/Geneva-Accords#ref3865).
  • French Surrender

    French Surrender
    "Vietnamese forces occupy the French command post.Dien Bien Phu and the French commander orders his troops to cease fire. The battle had lasted 55 days. Three thousand French troops were killed, 8,000 wounded. The Viet Minh suffered much worse, with 8,000 dead and 12,000 wounded, but the Vietnamese victory shattered France's resolve to carry on the war [and] the 'Rats of Nam Yum' became POWs" (http://www.history.com/topics/battle-of-dien-bien-phu).
  • The Geneva Conference on Indochina

    The Geneva Conference on Indochina
    Conference attended by the U.S., Britain, China, the Soviet Union, France, Vietnam (Viet Minh and representatives of Bao Dai), Cambodia and Laos, all meeting to negotiate a solution for Southeast Asia.
  • Ngo Dinh Diem

    Ngo Dinh Diem
    Bao Dai names Ngo Dinh Diem the new leader of what will become South Vietnam. "The United States delegation proposed Diem's name as the new ruler of South Vietnam. The French argued against this claiming that Diem was 'not only incapable but mad'" (http://spartacus-educational.com/VNngo.htm). Ngo Dinh Diem was educated in the west, a catholic who persecuted Buddhists, he stole land from peasants to give to his supporters, and later refused to allow elections to re-unite North & South Vietnam.
  • Geneva Conference

    Geneva Conference
    "10 documents—none of which were treaties binding the participants—consisted of 3 military agreements, 6 unilateral declarations, and a Final Declaration, a cease-fire that leads to the peaceful withdrawal of French troops from Southeast Asia" (http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-postwar/6040).
  • Vietnam Emigration

    Vietnam Emigration
    Operation Passage to Freedom was a term used by the United States Navy to describe transporting over 300,000 Vietnamese civilians & members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam. The French with other countries transported another 500,000. Over 80,000 Viet Minh sympathizers from the South moved into North Vietnam (http://scholarworks.uno.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1931&context=td).
  • Ho Chi Minh on Cover of Time Magazine

    Ho Chi Minh on Cover of Time Magazine
    "INDO-CHINA: Land of Compulsory Joy," Time Magazine features "Ho Chi Minh, dedicated Communist," the president of North Vietnam. The article states he "is a matchless interplay of ruthlessness and guile." Born Nguyen That Thanh, he founded the Viet Minh in order to fight the Japanese. "He adopted the name Ho Chi Minh, meaning 'Bringer of Light'."
  • Ngo Dinh Diem Land Reforms

    Ngo Dinh Diem Land Reforms
    The United States offers aid to South Vietnam and advised Ngo Dinh Diem to undertake "indispensable reforms" and among them Diem adopted many ordinances acquiring over a million acres of land (http://www.jstor.org/).
  • Binh Xuyen Suppression

    Binh Xuyen Suppression
    "The South Vietnam government of Ngo Dinh Diem used military action to eliminate the paramilitary power of the Binh Xuyen criminal organization" (http://www.lbcc.edu/Fulbright/documents/Literature1.pdf). "Between April 28 and May 3, 1955, the Binh Xuyen and the Vietnam ese army (ARVN) fought a savage house-to-house battle for control of SaigonCholon" (http://parallelnarratives.com/the-binh-xuyen-order-and-opium-in-saigon/).
  • Religious Persecution

    Religious Persecution
    Hoa Hao (Buddism) & Cao Dai (http://www.caodai.org/) religious sects supressed by Ngo Dinh Diem by military force in order to eliminate their paramilitary power (such persecution will persist in the following years).
  • Soviet Aid

    Soviet Aid
    "Ho Chi Minh visits Moscow and agrees to accept Soviet aid" (http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1945.html). China offers financial assistance.
  • Republic of Vietnam

    Republic of Vietnam
    The United States helps Ngo Dinh Diem rise to power in Saigon. He is elected president in rigged elections, rejects the Geneva Accords arguing South Vietnam was not a party to them, and cancels the 1956 elections knowing he would have lost to Ho Chi Minh (http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-postwar/6040).
  • Vietnam War (Second Indochina War)

    Vietnam War (Second Indochina War)
    The United States government changed the official date to November 1, 1955 because this is when the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) was reorganized and MAAG Vietnam was established.
  • Ho Chi Minh Land Reforms

    Ho Chi Minh Land Reforms
    Following the communist doctrine (and the Chinese example) thousands of people classified as landowners and wealthy farmers are imprisoned, tortured, & executed as a result of land reforms ordered by Ho Chi Minh over the years.
  • Growing Insurgency in South Vietnam

    Growing Insurgency in South Vietnam
    "Ho Chi Minh had given up any ties to the United States as an ally and announced establishment of the National Liberation Front (NLF) as an organized entity dedicated to fighting for Vietnam's freedom and independence from ANY foreign control. By 1956, a growing insurgency was underway in the South."
  • French High Command

    French High Command
  • TERM

    TERM
    Without approval of the ICC, the Temporary Equipment Recovery Mission (TERM) is established. TERM’s primary task is excess U.S. Military equipment. The TERM mission is to train the Vietnamese establishing their own logistical support system. Although TERM was under MAAG it was not a part of them (http://vietnamfulldisclosure.org/index.php/1956-2/).
  • Peasant Uprisings

    Peasant Uprisings
    "The United States military begins training South Vietnamese forces." Peasants uprise in North Vietnam against the collective farms (including the "Quynh Luu district, Nghe An province") and "against the detention of relatives and confiscation of property, the denial of the right to move South and the severe punishment inflicted on those who had tried to move" (https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2008/P4416.pdf).
  • U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

    U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Eisenhower was such a popular President during his first term that there seemed little doubt that he would win reelection no matter who the Democrats nominated to run against him. [His] approval rating in the Gallup poll ranged between 68 and 79 percent."
  • U.S. Fails to "Recognize Communist North Vietnam"

    U.S. Fails to "Recognize Communist North Vietnam"
    ICC states that neither North or South Vietnam is in compliance. "The Soviet Union proposes permanent division of Vietnam into North and South, with the two nations admitted separately to the United Nations. The U.S. rejects the proposal, unwilling to recognize Communist North Vietnam" (http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1945.html).
  • Ngô Đình Diệm Assassination Attempt

    Ngô Đình Diệm Assassination Attempt
    "A shot was fired which narrowly missed Diệm while he was visiting Ban Mê Thuột. He was not injured but his Secretary of Agrarian Reform was wounded."
  • CIA Reports Viet Cong "Not Capable"

    CIA Reports Viet Cong "Not Capable"
    "A CIA National Intelligence Estimate said that the Viet Cong in South Vietnam numbered 5,000 to 8,000 and along with about 2,000 armed members of the Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo sects were "widely dispersed and probably not capable of more than local harassment of government forces and local populations."
  • U.S. Ambassador in South Vietnam

    U.S. Ambassador in South Vietnam
    "A new U.S. Ambassador in South Vietnam, Elbridge Durbrow warned the Department of State that Diệm had 'become more intolerant of dissenting opinions' and that he relied 'heavily on a small circle of advisers including members of his family'" (Logevall, Frederik Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam New York: Random House, 2012, p. 679).
  • President Diệm Visits U.S.

    President Diệm Visits U.S.
    "On an official visit to the United States, President Diệm arrived in Washington, D.C. It was only the second time that Eisenhower had greeted a visitor at the airport. '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" (http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1945.html).
  • U.S. Honors President Diệm

    U.S. Honors President Diệm
    (Ngo Dinh Diem and the origins of America's war in Vietnam, 1950-1963 / Seth Jacobs).
    May 9: "Diệm addressed the United States Congress and received a standing ovation."
    May 12: "Diệm was accorded a ticker tape parade in New York City and acclaimed by Mayor Robert Wagner as "'a man history may yet adjudge as one of the great figures of the twentieth century.'"
  • "The Tough Miracle Man of Vietnam"

    "The Tough Miracle Man of Vietnam"
    Life Magazine named Diệm "The Tough Miracle Man of Vietnam."
  • "The Darkest Period" for Communists

    "The Darkest Period" for Communists
    Viet Minh guerrillas begin active insurgency in South Vietnam assassinating more than 400 officials. Communist forces settled along the Mekong Delta. The Diệm government decimated the communists. 2,000 suspected communist party members and sympathizers were killed & 65,000 were arrested. Communist party membership reduced to 1/3. 1957 was "the darkest period" for the communist movement in South Vietnam -Duiker
  • "A People’s War to Unite Vietnam"

    "A People’s War to Unite Vietnam"
    "Ho Chi Minh declares a People’s War to unite Vietnam, his Politburo now orders a changeover to an all-out military struggle, the Second Indochina War [aka Vietnam War] 'begins'" (http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1945.html).
  • The Vietnam War

    The Vietnam War
    MAY: Viet Minh establishes the Central Office of South Vietnam (COSVN) & constructs a supply route from North Vietnam to Vietcong forces in South Vietnam along the Cambodian border known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail (invading Laos).
    JUL: 4000 Viet Minh guerrillas (born in South) infiltrate South Vietnam. Maj. Dale Buis & Sgt. Chester Ovnand are the first American deaths in what Americans will simply refer to as The Vietnam War (http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1945.html).
  • North Vietnamese Draft

    North Vietnamese Draft
    "Universal military conscription is imposed in North Vietnam. Tour of duty is indefinite." In South Vietnam, Diem is petitioned to reform his corrupt government. Petition is ignored, several newspapers shut down, journalists and intellectuals arrested.
  • John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (JFK)

    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (JFK)
    OCTOBER 13: "Should I become President...I will not risk American lives...by permitting any other nation to drag us into the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time through an unwise commitment that is unwise militarily, unnecessary to our security and unsupported by our allies" -New York Times.
    NOVEMBER 8: "Kennedy defeated the Republican Vice President Richard M. Nixon [as] the youngest man [& 1st catholic to be] elected president."
  • National Liberation Front

    National Liberation Front
    NOVEMBER: Failed coup against Diem by his own Army leading to "over 50,000 [arrests &] innocent civilians tortured [&] executed." 1000s escape to North Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh will send back to infiltrate South Vietnam [Viet Cong = Communist Vietnamese]."
    DECEMBER: Agreement with Moscow in assured Soviet economic & technical assistance. Dec. 20: The National Liberation Front (NLF) is established.
  • JFK Inaugurated

    JFK Inaugurated
    Nikita Khrushchev “wars of national liberation.”
    Jan. 20: JFK inaugurated, "Now we have a problem in making our power credible, & Vietnam is the place" - aid to South Vietnam including over 3,000 military personnel.
    Soviet Union declares elimination of colonialism, end to aggression, & dismantling of military bases.
    People’s Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF) is formed.
    April 17: Bay of Pigs
    May: VP Johnson, 400 Green Berets, & Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG aka Montagnards).
  • First Battlefield Fatality

    First Battlefield Fatality
    Dec. 22: James T. Davis 1st U.S. combat death (http://thewall-usa.com/names.asp).
    Viet Cong kill some 4,000 officials.
    U.S. increases financial support to South Vietnam to $1 million a day (http://voiceseducation.org/node/329).
  • Operation Chopper

    Operation Chopper
    U.S. helicopters ferry 1,000 South Vietnamese soldiers v. NLF marking America's first combat missions against the Viet Cong.
    Feb. 6: MAAG replaced by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). Diem survives bombing.
    US military advisors increased from 700 to 12,000.
    March: Strategic Hamlet Program & Operation Sunrise.
    July 23: Declaration on the Neutrality of Laos.
    Aug: Foreign Assistance Act -Operation Ranchhand: Agent Orange & deoxin.
  • Battle of Ap Bac

    Battle of Ap Bac
    Jan. 2-3: Viet Cong victory in the Battle of Ap Bac (history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v03/d1). Diem criticized for choosing incompetent friends, family, & loyalists as officers.
    May 8: Riots in South Vietnam. People not allowed to display religious flags on Buddha’s birthday. Troops in Hue shoot into crowds of Buddhist monks. Event inspires further protests & demonstrations. Pressure increases on Kennedy administration to end support of Diem.
  • Thich Quang Duc

    Thich Quang Duc
    Buddhist monk burns himself alive (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo_iV7kOGe4) to protest South Vietnamese government.
    June - August: Several Buddhist monks inspired to follow in his example of self-immolation & burn themselves to death in protest.
    Diem imposes marital law. His brother Nhu leads crackdowns against Buddhist sanctuaries.
    July 4: Buddhist General Tran Van Don contacts CIA about overthrowing Diem.
  • JFK 58th News Conference

    JFK 58th News Conference
    "We want to see a stable government there, carrying on a struggle to maintain its national independence. We believe strongly in that. We are not going to withdraw from that effort. In my opinion, for us to withdraw from that effort would mean a collapse not only of South Vietnam, but Southeast Asia. So we are going to stay there." -JFK (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehaquBTPABc).
  • JFK Interview with Walter Cronkite

    JFK Interview with Walter Cronkite
    AUG: U.S. ambassador Lodge sent to Saigon to encourage a coup against Diem which failed.
    SEP 2: "Lodge wanted to go & we are fortunate to have him. The people of Viet-Nam have to win or lose [the war]. We can help them, but they have to win it. I don't think that the war can be won unless the people support the effort and the government has gotten out of touch with the people but I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw." -JFK
  • Diem & Nhu Executed

    Diem & Nhu Executed
    OCT: Secretary of Defense McNamara reports plan to withdraw despite reality (15,000 U.S. military advisors in South Vietnam). Coup plans continue as U.S. agrees not to get involved (http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/3446).
    NOV: With U.S. tacit approval & reconginition of his rule, General Duong Van Minh overthrows regime & orders the execution of Diem & his brother (http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-postwar/6040).
  • JFK Assassinated

    JFK Assassinated
    "President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He was shot twice, and an hour after his death Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the crime." Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) succeeded to presidency.
  • Staged Coup

    Staged Coup
    Minh was overthrown by a bloodless coup d'etat led by Major General Nguyễn Khánh, Commander of I ARVN Corps & political leader who served as president & prime minister of South Vietnam. "Khanh's coup was allegedly staged to prevent [a] pro-French government." Due to the “reshuffling” of corps boundaries & command positions, “Khanh was able to surround himself with commanders whose loyalty was unquestioned.”
  • Secret U.S. Raids & Millions of More Dollars Wasted

    Secret U.S. Raids & Millions of More Dollars Wasted
    “Secret raids by U.S. backed mercenaries [flying old American fighter planes] against Viet Cong [Ho Chi Minh trail] in Laos; Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara recommends increased military aid; Johnson approves planning phase of bombing North Vietnam; U.S. nows spends more than $2 million per day to fight the Vietnam War" (http://voiceseducation.org/node/330).
  • "A Test of U.S. Resolve"

    "A Test of U.S. Resolve"
    In South Vietnam McNamara says “Khanh ‘has our admiration [&] respect. We'll stay for as long as it takes [&] provide whatever help is required.’ Policy makers focused to prevent a Communist victory in South Vietnam, believing it would damage the credibility of the U.S. The war in Vietnam becomes a test of U.S. resolve in fighting Communism with America's prestige and President Johnson's reputation on the line" (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php).
  • Memorandum for the President

    Memorandum for the President
    Robert McNamara's memo to the President addressing "the present situation in Vietnam" & what improvements to the situation are recommended. "We seek an independent non-Communist South Vietnam. Unless we can achieve this objective in South Vietnam, almost all of Southeast Asia will probably fall under Communist dominance. We have given serious thought to all the implications and ways of carrying out direct military action."
  • "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" (www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php).
    April - June: "American air power in Southeast Asia is massively reinforced. Two aircraft carriers arrive off the Vietnamese coast prompted by a North Vietnamese offensive in Laos" (http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/).
  • First Major Protests

    First Major Protests
    First major demonstrations against the war: 400-1000 students march through Times Square to the United Nations to protest. More than 700 students march through San Francisco. Simultaneous demonstrations in Boston, Madison, Wisconsin, Seattle, etc. (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet.html#1964).
  • "Students Burn Draft Cards"

    "Students Burn Draft Cards"
    May 4: North Vietnam trade embargo.
    May 12: “Chanting ‘We Won't Go,’ [over] 1,000 students [protested in NYC & 12] burned their draft cards in opposition to the war” (http://law.jrank.org/pages/23501/United-States-v-O-Brien-Draft-Card-Burning.html).
    May: "Tell the Vietnamese they've got to draw in their horns or we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age." -Gen. Curtis LeMay
    "Resolution in Vietnam shelved due to lack of support” (www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php).
  • "President Johnson approves Operation Plan 34A"

    "President Johnson approves Operation Plan 34A"
    “56,000 Viet Cong & the [NVA](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php) [pour] in via the Ho Chi Minh trail. Johnson approves Operation Plan 34A using South Vietnamese commandos in speed boats to harass radar sites along the coastline of North Vietnam supported by the destroyer U.S.S. Maddox [an electronic spy ship] in the Gulf of Tonkin.”
    “Led by Patrice Lumumba, [rebels] launched attacks in Kivu province. The Congolese army collapsed raping and pillaging [as they fled]” (http://www.us-foreign-policy-perspective.org/index.php?id=299).
  • President Appoints New Ambassador & Commander

    President Appoints New Ambassador & Commander
    President Johnson appoints General Maxwell D. Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as ambassador to South Vietnam & Lt. Gen William C. Westmoreland as military commander. “Westmoreland is a West Point graduate and a highly decorated veteran of World War II and Korea” (www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php).
    July 27: U.S. sends 5,000 more military advisers to South Vietnam, bringing the total to 21,000 (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet.html#1964).
  • Goldwater for President

    Goldwater for President
    "Yesterday it was Korea; tonight we are at war in Vietnam. The president refuses to say-refuses to say, whether or not the objective over there is victory, and his secretary of defense continues to mislead the American people. Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” - AZ Senator Barry Goldwater nominated to run for president (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet.html#1964).
  • MACV-SOG

    MACV-SOG
    July 30-31: OPLAN 34Alpha attacks continue as South Vietnamese commando (MACV-SOG) vessels shell islands Hon Me & Hon Ngu in the Gulf of Tonkin under the protection of American destroyers. “The U.S. destroyer Maddox, an electronic spy ship [Operation De Soto], is 123 miles south with orders to electronically simulate an air attack to draw North Vietnamese boats away from the commandos” (http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/).
  • Gulf of Tonkin incident

    Gulf of Tonkin incident
    2 controversial (& potentially fabricated) incidents allegedly involving North Vietnamese patrol boats attack against the Maddox, later joined by the USS C. Turner Joy, provided the rationale for a retaliatory bombing raid & open warfare against North Vietnam (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/south-vietnamese-boats-raid-islands-in-the-tonkin-gulf). Johnson reports: “Our full commitment to the people and to the government of South Viet-Nam will be redoubled by this outrage.”
  • Media Supports President

    Media Supports President
    [Aug 5](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php): Mainstream media & polls indicate 85% of Americans support Johnson's bombing & his administration lobby to pass a resolution giving the President tremendous power to act in Vietnam.
    Aug 6: Senator Wayne Morse confronts McNamara that the Maddox had been involved in the commando raids & McNamara replies they "played absolutely no part in [&] was not aware of any [such] actions” but would later admit to the contrary as well as to the fact that no August 4th Tonkin Incident ever took place.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Signed on Aug 10)

    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Signed on Aug 10)
    [Passed](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php) unanimously in the House & 98-2 in the Senate ("all Vietnam is not worth the life of a single American boy" - Ernest Gruening [along with Morse are 2 opposing senators]). It grants enormous power to President Johnson ("to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force") to wage an undeclared war in Vietnam.
    Aug 21: Protests in Saigon result in Khanh’s resignation as a sole leader in favor of a triumvirate that includes himself, Gen. Minh & Gen. Khiem. Saigon in chaos.
  • Democratic National Convention

    Democratic National Convention
    [President Johnson is nominated](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php) at the Democratic National Convention, "We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves."
  • The X-Men #7

    The X-Men #7
    www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php
    President Johnson assembles his top aides at the White House to ponder the future course of action in Vietnam.
    September 13: 2 disgruntled South Vietnamese generals stage an unsuccessful coup in Saigon.
    The X-Men #7, September 1964
    "The Beast: Robert McNamara"
  • UC Berkeley Demonstrations

    UC Berkeley Demonstrations
    Documentary
    UC Berkeley Dean of Students Katherine Towle bans political activity & organization at Bancroft & Telegraph intersection (served for years as gathering place for student organization).
    Oct 1: Jack Weinberg arrested. 7,000 people attend the 2-day protests.
    Oct 2: Students & administration sign free speech agreement.
    Stop the Draft Week.
    Oct 15: Telegraph March.
    Nov: Oakland Army March.
    Dec 2: Sproul Hall occupation largest Free Speech demonstration. 773 of 1500 students arrested.
  • China's First Atomic Bomb

    China's First Atomic Bomb
    Oct 14: U.S.S.R. leader Nikita Khrushchev is replaced by Leonid Brezhnev (www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.p).
    Oct 16: In response to U.S. China continues to amass troops along Vietnam border & tests its first Atomic Bomb (http://topnews.in/law/china-allow).
    The first unit of North Vietnamese troops is sent to the South (by May 1965 they will number 6,500).
    Oct 27: A TIME FOR CHOOSING - Ronald Reagan speech.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson is Re-Elected for President

    Lyndon B. Johnson is Re-Elected for President
    Nov 1: Viet Cong shell Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam, 12 miles north of Saigon. A pre-dawn mortar assault kills 4-[5 Americans](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php), 2 South Vietnamese, & wounds 76 others. 5 B-57 bombers are destroyed & another 15 damaged. This time President Johnson does not retaliate with an air strike (http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/).
    Nov 3: Johnson won the Presidency by 15 million votes, the widest popular margin in American history.
  • Another Coup

    Another Coup
    Dec 1-21: “Americans are tired of coups” - Ambassador Taylor. Gen. Khanh, Nguyen Cao Ky, & Nguyen Van Thieu “oust Minh from power [claiming] the U.S. is now acting as a colonial power” (http://voiceseducation.org/node/330). “10,000 NVA soldiers arrive via the Ho Chi Minh trail [with Chinese & USSR weaponry shoring] up Viet Cong with the weapons [& providing] experienced leaders.” Meanwhile “a policy of gradual escalation of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam” is [recommended](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php) by Johnson's aides.
  • BOQ Bombing

    BOQ Bombing
    The Brink Hotel aka Brink [Bachelor Officers Quarters](www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php) in Saigon car-bombed during “happy hour” by 2 Viet Cong operatives killing 2 Americans & injuring 58, including Vietnamese civilians. Johnson does not retaliate with an air strike.
    Dec 31: “Number of American military advisors in South Vietnam is 23,000 [with] an estimated 170,000 Viet Cong/NVA in the ‘People's Revolutionary Army’ which has begun waging coordinated battalion-sized attacks against South Vietnamese troops around Saigon."
  • "I've had enough of this"

    "I've had enough of this"
    President Johnson approves Operation Flaming Dart.
    Feb 18: "Another military coup in Saigon results in General Khanh finally ousted from power and a new military/civilian government installed, led by Dr. Phan Huy Quat."
    March 2: Johnson approves Operation Rolling Thunder.
    (www.presidency.ucsb.edu/vietnam/timeline.php).
  • U.S. Marines land at Da Nang

    U.S. Marines land at Da Nang
    "The USS Henrico, Union, and Vancouver, carrying the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade under Brig. Gen. Frederick J. Karch, take up stations 4,000 yards off Red Beach Two, north of Da Nang" (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-marines-land-at-da-nang).
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    Jan 30-31: "During the lunar new year (or “Tet”) holiday, North Vietnamese and communist Viet Cong forces launched a coordinated attack against a number of targets in South Vietnam. The U.S. and South Vietnamese militaries sustained heavy losses before finally repelling the communist assault. The Tet Offensive played an important role in weakening U.S. public support for the war in Vietnam" (https://history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/tet).
  • Nixon Elected

    Nixon Elected
    "Eight years after being defeated by John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election, Richard Nixon defeats Hubert H. Humphrey and is elected president."
  • THE VIETNAM LOTTERIES

    THE VIETNAM LOTTERIES
    "A lottery drawing - the first since 1942 - was held on December 1, 1969, at Selective Service National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This event determined the order of call for induction during calendar year 1970; that is, for registrants born between January 1, 1944, and December 31, 1950. Reinstitution of the lottery was a change from the "draft the oldest man first" method, which had been the determining method for deciding order of call."
  • Paris Peace Accords

    Paris Peace Accords
    Signed by U.S., North/South Vietnam, & NLF - ending 5 years of negotiations.
    Meeting between Averell Harriman & Xuan Thuy, U.S. & North Vietnamese emissaries. Hanoi requested the U.S. to stop its bombings, Washington wanted North Vietnam to de-escalate Viet Cong activities.
  • Fall of Saigon

    Fall of Saigon
    On April 30, 1975, Communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces captured the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, forcing South Vietnam to surrender and bringing about an end to the Vietnam War (http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/april-30-1975-saigon-falls/?_r=0).
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam

    Socialist Republic of Vietnam
    North and South Vietnam are formally unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province & was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam Constitution

    Socialist Republic of Vietnam Constitution
    "Strengthened the powers of the executive but kept the legislature largely the same as under the 1959 Charter. It also gave the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) a central role in determining all the state activities. The 1980 Constitution recognized and guaranteed gave the citizens' rights to freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and association. However, these rights are, subject to VCP’s interpretation" (http://www.constitutionnet.org/country/constitutional-history-vietnam).