Timeline: Vietnam

  • Dien Bien Phu

    Dien Bien Phu
    The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was between France and Northern Vietnam in Dien Bien Phu. Here Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh forces defeat the French and France removes its colonial rule in Indochina, which allows for the division of Vietnam along the 17th parallel. In September of the same year Ho Chi Minh the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam to prevent France from regaining control. However, when France does attempt this, the US offers France military aid and fills its spot in the war.
  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    The Geneva Accords were an attempt of France and Vietnam to end their 8 years of fighting. In Geneva, Switzerland, delegates from France, China, the Soviet Union, Laos, Cambodia, the State of Vietnam, and the United States came together to write an agreement. It was decided that:
    - Vietnam would become independant.
    - Vietnam would be divided for 2 years.
    - General elections would take place to decide which part of Vietnam would control all of Vietnam.
  • My Lai Massacre

    My Lai Massacre
    American soldiers brutally killed unarmed civilians, including women and children, about 500 of them in the village of My Lai. In 1968, Ron Ridenhour demanded an investigation which led to this discovery. This event was covered up by the government for about a year until it was exposed to the public. It sparked international outrage and served to increase anti-war sentiment.
  • Gulf of Tonkin

    Gulf of Tonkin
    On August 2, 1964 the USS Maddox was in the Gulf of Tonkin with the goal to "conduct electronic espionage missions" to gain intelligence. Then, 3 North Vietnam torpedo boats fired on the Maddox, and 2 days later another attack was reported. This led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which increased US in the Vietnam War/conflict.
  • Tonkin Resolution

    Tonkin Resolution
    The Tonkin Resolution, August 7, 1964, followed the Gulf of Tonkin incident, specifically the second supposed attack. This resolution basically allowed the President to deal with what he saw as aggression from North Vietnam.
  • Fulbright Commission

    Fulbright Commission
    The Fulbright hearings were initiated with the goal to question and investigate the United States' reasons for its growing involvement in the war. It was publicly televised and they were presided over by Senator William Fulbright. Many close advisers of Johnson advised that he cease the heavy bombing in North Vietnam and withdraw. This is what began a significant shift in public opinion.
  • Pentagon Papers

    Pentagon Papers
    The Pentagon Papers were a series of reports or a study by the Department of Defense which studied US military and political involvement in Vietnam. These reports began from the end of WWII to the present day. The person assigned to the study was Daniel Ellsberg who exposed these papers to the public, which contained top secret information and did not present the US in a very positive light.
  • Vietnamization

    Vietnamization
    This was a changing US war policy which aimed to decrease American involvement in the war by decreasing military responsibilities to Vietnam. The growing opposition to the war is what urged President Nixon to remove all military troops out of Vietnam and achieve “peace with honor”. The US gov't would train and equip South Vietnam. Even so, South Vietnam fell to the communist forces later on.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    The Yet Offensive was a series of more than 100 attacks from North Vietnam to foment rebellion and limit US involvement in the war. This was a turning point in US involvement as it signified that the war was no where close to ending. President Johnson took steps to limit the bombing in North Vietnam and took steps to negotiate and help end the war.
  • Invasion of Cambodia

    Invasion of Cambodia
    On April 4, 1970, President Nixon ordered US troops to invade Cambodia. For many Americans, Nixon was overstepping his power and the hope of their loved ones returning home fled the minds of these families. The end of the Vietnam War now seemed very far away. Because of this act, Congress passed the War Powers Act which prevents a President from declaring war without the consentment of Congress.
  • Daniel Ellsburg

    Daniel Ellsburg
    Ellsburg was an American military analyst and researcher who was assigned to investigate the "history of U.S. intervention in Indochina from World War II until 1968." He was able to do so, and then in 1968 he leaked this 7,000-page report, which included astonishing secrets and facts about US' involvement in the war.
  • Christmas Bombing

    Christmas Bombing
    December 13 marked an end to the peacetime talks between the US and North Vietnam and shortly after on December 18 Nixon orders a massive bombing campaign in order to accept US concessions. The bombing lasted for about 2 weeks until December 29 when North Vietnam agrees to resume these peacetime talks with the US. This leads to to the Paris Peace Treaty and ends the US role in the conflict.
  • War Powers Act

    War Powers Act
    The War Powers Act is a resolution by Congress which further limits Presidential power. It requires that the President notify Congress after troops are sent to fight in another country and it also limits the amount of time that those troops can remain. The purpose of this act was to prevent another lengthy war like the war in Vietnam
  • Paris Peace Conference/Accords

    Paris Peace Conference/Accords
    At the beginning of 1973, the United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong, and North Vietnam signed an agreement to end the long war in Vietnam. This agreement included:
    -a cease-fire from Vietnam
    -the withdrawal of troops by the US
    -all US bases were dismantled
    -the 17th parallel would be a dividing line for Vietnam and it would be reunified soon after that.
    -elections would continue by South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu
    -The North Vietnamese claimed that they wouldn't try to reunify...
  • Fall of Saigon

    Fall of Saigon
    The Fall of Saigon took place on April 30, 1975 in which Saigon falls to North Vietnam and because Nixon had already resigned from the presidency, President Johnson was unable to get Congressional approval to involve itself in Saigon. So the US did nothing. This was a very important event because it marked the end of the Vietnam War and communist rule over all of Vietnam.