Vietnam Era Timeline

Timeline created by 30000153
  • Geneva Accords

    The Geneva Accords establish North and South Vietnam with the 17th parallel as the dividing line.
  • First U.S. soldiers killed in South Vietnam

    The first U.S. soldiers are killed in South Vietnam when guerrillas raid their living quarters near Saigon.
  • Agent Orange Introduced

    In Operation Ranch Hand, U.S. aircraft start spraying Agent Orange and other herbicides over rural areas of South Vietnam to kill vegetation that would offer cover and food for Vietcong forces.
  • Gulf of Tonkin

    The attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin spur Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorizes the president to “take all necessary measures, including the use of armed force” against any aggressor in the conflict.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    President Johnson launches a three-year campaign of sustained bombing of targets in North Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Operation Rolling Thunder
  • More Troops in Vietnam

    President Johnson calls for 50,000 more ground troops to be sent to Vietnam, increasing the draft to 35,000 each month.
  • Mai Lai Massacre

    At the U.S. massacre at Mai Lai, more than 500 civilians are murdered by U.S. forces.
  • Nixon Becomes President

    Republican Richard M. Nixon wins the U.S. presidential elections on the campaign promises to restore “law and order” and to end the draft.
  • Vietnamization

    The Nixon administration gradually reduces the number of U.S. forces in South Vietnam, placing more burden on the ground forces of South Vietnam’s ARVN as part of a strategy known as Vietnamization. U.S. troops in Vietnam are reduced from a peak of 549,000 in 1969 to 69,000 in 1972.
  • Conclusion of the Vietnam War

    North and South Vietnam are formally unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under hardline communist rule.