The Vietnam War: 1954 - 1975

  • Nixon's Speech on Providing Troops

    Nixon's Speech on Providing Troops
    SourceVice President Richard Nixon sits before a highly-political press conference and states, "if to avoid further Communist expansion in Asia and Indochina we must take the risk now of putting our boys in, I think the Executive has to take the politically unpopular decision and do it." This statement sparks both worry and excitement acoss the nation, especially since President Eisenhower had rejected the idea of providing troops just months before.
  • Period: to

    The Vietnam War

  • Surrender of the French

    Surrender of the French
    The Viet Minh receive the surrender of the French forces after a hard-fought conflict at Dien Bien Phu. This surrender signals for the Geneva Conference regarding the status of Indochina to begin.
  • One Country, Two Halves

    One Country, Two Halves
    Following the Geneva Accords, Vietnam is to be divided at the 17th parallel until proper elections are held in 1956. France and Ho Chi Minh sign, hoping to reunify the country soon - however, despite the fact that the South Vietnamese government and the United States originally agreed to also sign, both end up refusing.
  • From Dulles to Diem

    From Dulles to Diem
    The Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, remains loyal to the regime of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. Fearing that he would lose the election against Ho Chi Minh, Diem had rejected the Geneva Accords and continues to recieve assistance from the United States.
  • Diem's Repression

    Diem's Repression
    Beginning a brutal campaign, Ngo Dinh Diem aims to repress the treachorous people of Northern Vietnam, or anyone else who aided the Viet Minh.
  • Guerrilla Warfare

    Guerrilla Warfare
    With many ex-Viet Minh forces having wound up in South Vietnam, they initiate a guerrilla warfare campaign against Diem. Ho Chi Minh supports them with organization and weaponry.
  • Kennedy's Election

    Kennedy's Election
    Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy wins the presidental election and becomes the 35th president of the United States. Both the United States and Vietnam are stirring with anticipation as a new man takes command of the war.
  • Vice Presidental Visit to South Vietnam

    Vice Presidental Visit to South Vietnam
    Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President of the United States, heads out to South Vietnam with an offer of military and economic aid to Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem accepts without hesitation and soon the number of soldiers deployed in Vietnam is increasing to a higher amount each day.
  • First Casualty for United States

    First Casualty for United States
    The United States receives an early, unfortunate Christmas gift as our first combat death is reported. Obviously, there is an immediate surge of fear and frustration throughout the country. For many citizens, this death truly signaled the start of the Vietnam War.
  • Military Assistance Command Vietnam

    Military Assistance Command Vietnam
    The Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) unleashes its full presence in the divided country. The military advisors of the United States are granted permission to fire at the enemy if fired upon. The United States' military power in Vietnam ontinues to grow with each passing day.
  • Introduction of the Strategetic Hamlet Program

    Introduction of the Strategetic Hamlet Program
    SourceCreated by the United States and South Vietnam, the Strategetic Hamlet Plan was introduced as a means to strengthen Ngo Dinh Diem's hold over the common people of Vietnam while keeping them from the Viet Cong. This program pulled the common people from their villages in the country and moved them to more fortified areas were healthcare and education was provided. However, the majority of the common people were not pleased with having to move and became more susceptible to the Viet Cong.
  • The Downfall of Diem

    The Downfall of Diem
    The rising General Duong Van Minh overthrows Ngo Dinh Diem and his establishment. Barely one day after the overthrow, Diem and his brother are executed by Minh and the United States accepts Minh's rule.
  • Kennedy's Assassination

    Kennedy's Assassination
    In the company of his wife and while greeting citizens from inside a moving vehicle, President John F. Kennedy is shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson assumes the presidency and the nation once again holds its breath when a new man takes charge of the Vietnam War.
  • The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    The Congress of the United States passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which enables President Lydon B. Johnson to use whatever means he sees fit to protect South Vietnam from the Viet Cong forces.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    Operation Rolling Thunder
    President Lyndon B. Johnson puts Operation Rolling Thunder into action, a bombardment campaign with the intention to shatter North Vietnam's transportation system and industrial centers. This operation was a response to the VC assault on the United States' Air Force base located in Pleiku, South Vietnam.
  • Temporary Halt

    Temporary Halt
    Perhaps in the spirit of the holidays, President Lyndon B. Johnson orders a complete halt on the bombing of North Vietnam in an effort to promote peaceful negotiations with them.
  • King's Protest

    King's Protest
    At the United Nations building in New York, Martin Luther King Jr. holds a rally where he accuses the United States' foreign policy in Vietnam of being too cruel. Demonstrations and protests follow with more than 100,000 people in attendance.
  • The Tet Offensive

    The Tet Offensive
    With a huge support of North Vietnamese troops, the Viet Cong attack the United States' troops in sudden, bloody attempt. The Viet Cong suffers a loss of about 37,000 troops while the United States loses about 2,500 troops. At this point in the war, public support in the United States is at an all time low.
  • Johnson's Announcements

    Johnson's Announcements
    In a national television broadcast, President Lydon B. Johnson announced that he will not pursue reelection, and that, "We are prepared to move immediately toward peace through negotiations. So tonight, in the hope that this action will lead to early talks, I am taking the first step to deescalate the conflict [in Vietnam]."
  • The Election of Nixon

    The Election of Nixon
    The Republican candidate Richard Nixon wins the Presidental election and prepares to take office as the war rages on.
  • Initial Talks of Peace in Paris

    Initial Talks of Peace in Paris
    In Paris, France, representatives from the United States, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam are in attendance. Each party is on edge and ready to struggle to push the situation towards their best interests.
  • Murders at Kent State

    Murders at Kent State
    Mayhem erupts at Kent State University when the Ohio Narional Guard makes an effort to breakup the anti-war protests. The protestors refuse to stop and the National Guard becomes frustrated, resulting in the shooting of thirteen students, four of which end up dying. College campus are closed down nationwide and the incident gains global attention.
  • Vote on Troop Withdrawl

    Vote on Troop Withdrawl
    After discussion and voting, both the House and the Senate of the United States have agreed to withdraw every troop from Vietnam by the end of the year.
  • Beginning to Exit Vietnam

    Beginning to Exit Vietnam
    At long last, the withdraw is in full swing, and the final United States' ground troops are brought home from Vietnam. Troops like the airmen and support personal, unfortunately, are still required to remain.
  • Ceasefire Signed

    Ceasefire Signed
    A peace agreement that calls for a ceasefire is signed by representatives from the United States, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam in Paris, France. Additionally, the United States agrees to withdraw the remainder of its combat troops and South Vietnam agrees to allow free elections in the future.
  • Official Ending

    Official Ending
    he final combat soldiers from the United States retrurn home, though some Marines and military advisors stay overseas. In total, more than three million Americans served in the Vietnam War with 60,000 deceased, 150,000 wounded, and 1,000 missing in action.
  • Military Aid Cut

    Military Aid Cut
    With the ceasefire in Vietnam officically over, the United States' Congress rejects President Richard Nixon's request for further military aid to the struggling people of South Vietnam.
  • The Collapse of Saigon

    The Collapse of Saigon
    For the past few months, the once-mighty, enormous city of Saigon begins to fall. An impending invasion by the North Vietnamese terrifies the residents and they make their best efforts to flee the area. The North Vietnamese soon take Saigon and the war sees its ultimate end with the North Vietnamese as the victors,