Ho Chi Minh and his People's Congress create the National Liberation Committee of Vietnam to form a provisional government, and Japan surrenders power to Viet Minh.
Ho Chi Minh Declares the Independence of Vietnam from France
Minh was emboldened by the Japanese and the American Declaration of Independence's promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for all.
Chinese and British Forces Invade Vietnam
The major powers banded together to reclaim Vietnam for France because it didn't have the means to alone. The Chinese invaded the North above the 16th parallel. The British invaded the South and rearmed French forces.
French Recognizes Vietnam as a "Free State"
After talks between the French and Ho Chi Minh's people, the French signed an agreement that allowed French forces to replace Chinese forces in the North if France recognized Vietnam's sovereignty within the French Union.
Beginning of the First Indochina War
After the British pulled out of Vietnam and French troops replaced them, the Viet Minh began guerrilla attacks against the French throughout Vietnam. The war spread to Laos and Cambodia. Chinese Communists aided the Viet Minh when they ran low on weapons.
People's Republic of China and Soviet Union Recognize Viet Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam
China and the Soviet Union backed Ho Chi Minh's Republic of Vietnam over France's claim to the territory.
United States and Great Britain Recognized the French-backed State of Vietnam
The United States and Great Britain sided with the French.
National Liberation Front Is Formally Established
The NLF (a.k.a. the Viet Cong) to unite all anti-GVN (Government of Vietnam) activists, including non-communists. They placed emphasis on American withdrawal from Vietnamese affairs, land reform and liberalization of GVN, and coalition government and the neutralization of Vietnam.
French Union Garrison Surrender to Viet Minh
The French Surrendered to the Viet Minh after the battle of Dien Bien Phu.
Diem Declared South Vietnam an Independent State as Republic of Vietnam
Diem rigged the election with American advisement, and was credited with 98.2% of the vote. Diem claimed presidency over the new Republic of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh and other communist officials won over 99% of the vote in North Vietnam.
Laos Neutrality Recognized
14 nations, including the United States, China, The Soviet Union, South Vietnam and North Vietnam, all recognized Laos as a neutral state and signed an agreement to respect it as such.
President Diem Overthrown and Executed
President Diem and his brother were overthrown and executed. The United States' CIA did not oppose this plan of action by South Vietnamese generals, and continued to aid them.
North Vietnamese Army Attacks South Vietnam
They sent 10,000 troops using the invasion passageways built through Laos and Cambodia. The next year there were 100,000 troops sent out to South Vietnam.
United States Deploys 3,500 Marines to South Vietnam
This was done after several attacks against US Air Force bases, as the South Vietnamese army had little to defend with. This marked the beginning of the American ground war.
Tet Offensive Occurs
The NVA and Viet Cong broke the truce during the Tet (Lunar New Year) and launched the largest battle of the war. It was a significant victory for the allies.
Peace Talks Between the United States and North Vietnam Ensue
These talks were held in Paris. The talks stagnated for 5 months until Johnson decided to halt all bombings in North Vietnam.
Paris Peace Accords Officially Signed
The Paris Peace Accords on "Ending the War and Restoring Vietnam" were signed by Nixon and Thieu, ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Last of U.S. Ground Troops Are Withdrawn from South Vietnam
There were still U.S. naval and air forces in the Gulf of Tonkin, Guam, and Thailand.
Thieu Declares Paris Peace Accords No Longer in Effect
Clashes between the Viet Cong and South Vietnam had ensued and the South lost both territory and soliders. The Oil Price Shock of October 1973 significantly damaged the South Vietnamese economy.
Ford Declares End to Vietnam War and All U.S. Aid
Nixon televised a speech after Thieu tearfully resigned on the 21st of April, 1975. Operation Frequent Wind was carried out to remove as many American officials and civilians from Saigon before it was overtaken by the North Vietnamese army.
Fall of Saigon to North Vietnam
Saigon was easily overtaken by the NVA, and the Viet Cong flag was raised above the Independence Palace. President Minh surrendered.