Vietnam War Events

  • U.S. Military Advisory Group Arrives in Saigon

    U.S. Military Advisory Group Arrives in Saigon
    U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group arrives in Saigon
    President Harry Truman sends 35 members of the U.S. MAAG to Saigon to screen the French's request for military aid, assist with training the South Vietnamese troops and advising on military strategies.
  • President Dwight Eisenhower's Domino Theory Speech

    President Dwight Eisenhower's Domino Theory Speech
    Domino Theory Speech
    President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a speech that would become known as the 'Domino Theory Speech'. He emphasized the importance of Vietnam to America. He stated that if Vietnam went down, the entire Southeast Asian region would fall apart. This thought process fueled Presidents Kennedy & Johnson's support for non-communist S. Vietnam & the 1965 military involvement.
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    The Vietnam War

  • U.S. MAAG-Vietnam Formed

    U.S. MAAG-Vietnam Formed
    History of Military Advisement in Vietnam
    The U.S. Military Assistance and Advisory Group was formed to provide military assistance to S. Vietnam. The group had U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps elements.
    http://olive-drab.com/od_history_vietnam_advisors.php
  • First Americans Killed in South Vietnam

    First Americans Killed in South Vietnam
    First American Deaths in S. Vietnam
    Major Dale R. Buis and Master Sergeant Chester Ovnand were killed after the Vietcong shot through the windows of the mess hall where they were watching a movie. They were apart of an MAAG compound in Bien Hoa.
  • President Kennedy increases aid to S. Vietnam.

    President Kennedy increases aid to S. Vietnam.
    Increased aid to S. Vietnam
    President Kennedy formally announces that the USA will increase aid to South Vietnam. Although Kennedy provided many services to S. Vietnam, he did not want to get too involved at this point and did not send any U.S. combat troops.
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    Active United States Involvement

  • Operation Chopper Launched

    Operation Chopper Launched
    Operation Chopper
    The U.S. Military launches Operation Chopper which is the U.S.'s first combat operations in Vietnam. This was also the beginning of the air-tactics that would be used throughout the war and Vietnam is known as America's first helicopter war. The helicopters signaled to Northern Vietnam that America had increased its involvement in the war. However, this new technique cost U.S. soldiers' lives.
  • Operation Ranch Hand Initiated

    Operation Ranch Hand Initiated
    Operation Ranch Hand
    Operation Ranch Hand was an operation where U.S. planes used herbicides, commonly known as Agent Orange, to destroy vegetation and reveal the hideouts of the Viet Cong. While the operation was not successful in stopping the Viet Cong, it did have a signficant impact on the vegetation & environment. To this day, U.S. veterans and Vietnamese report side effects from the heavy chemicals.
  • Military Assistance Command Vietnam Created

    Military Assistance Command Vietnam Created
    Military Assistance Command Vietnam Created
    When the MACV was established, the MAAG-Vietnam was disbanded and the MACV became the directors of the conduct of war.
  • President Kennedy Assassinated

    President Kennedy Assassinated
    President JFK Assassinated
    President Kennedy is assassinated and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson becomes president. Conspiracy theories abound, but Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the president's murder.
  • U.S.S Maddox Incident

    U.S.S Maddox Incident
    U.S.S. Maddox Captain Firing Report
    The Captain of the U.S.S. Maddox reports that his ship has been fired on and that an attack is imminent. This causes a retaliation against North Vietnam within 6 hours under President Johnson's order. Later, it is realized that the firing reports were inaccurate & the response was premature.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    Due to still beliving there was an 8/4 attack, Congress agreed to expand military involvement by any means necessary.
  • First U.S. combat troops deployed to Vietnam

    First U.S. combat troops deployed to Vietnam
    First Combat Troops Deployed
    President Johnson deploys a U.S. Marine Corps Hawk air defense missile battalion to protect an important U.S. air base. These were the first American combat troops and brought American involvement to a new height.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder Begins

    Operation Rolling Thunder Begins
    Operation Rolling Thunder
    President Lyndon Johnson authorizes Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam.
  • America becomes aware of Vietnam realities

    America becomes aware of Vietnam realities
    Vietnam War Media
    Media stories such as this April 16, 1965 edition of Life magazine gave Americans a visual of the brutalities of life in Vietnam. This fueled many of the protests against America's involvement in the war.
  • March on Washington to end war in Vietnam

    March on Washington to end war in Vietnam
    Student Speeches against the war
    As Americans became more aware of what was happening in Vietnam, protests begin. Members of the Students for a Democratic Society staged a March on Washington to end the war in Vietnam. They touted the value of human life and encouraged peace.
  • President Johnson increases the draft for troops to Vietnam

    President Johnson increases the draft for troops to Vietnam
    Increase in U.S. Troops
    President Johnson increases the number of troops to Vietnam and gave military leaders the rights to pursue the war without restraint.
  • The U.S. continues bombing N. Vietnam

    The U.S. continues bombing N. Vietnam
    U.S. Continues bombings
    Operation Rolling Thunder continues as the U.S. drops more bombs on North Vietnam. This draws some controversy and encourages China to rev up their support for N. Vietnam.
  • Operation Cedar Falls Launches

    Operation Cedar Falls Launches
    Operation Cedar Falls
    During this attack on the enemy near Saigon, U.S. troops destroyed a massive guerilla headquarters.
  • Tet Offensive Begins

    Tet Offensive Begins
    Tet Offensive
    Viet Cong forces attack the South Vietnam territory. While ultimately the allied U.S. & S. Vietnam forces technically win, the attack takes a heavy psychological and political toll. Back in the U.S. reports were often flawed with Americans believing that N. Vietnam had the victory. In addition, the casualties from the war led to increased unrest and protesting.
  • My Lai Massacre

    My Lai Massacre
    My Lai Massacre
    On this day, U.S. Soldiers coldly killed 200-500 unarmed civillians in the village of My Lai. The soldiers had been told destroy everyone and everything because they were either VC or VC sympathizers. Nevertheless, the soldiers inhumanely raped, dragged, and killed the innocent citizens and officers attempted to cover the events. After the story broke, the world was outraged.
  • President Richard Nixon Elected

    President Richard Nixon Elected
    President Nixon
    After President Johnson decides not to seek a second term, Richard Nixon is elected as the new United States President.
  • Secret bombings in Cambodia begin

    Secret bombings in Cambodia begin
    U.S. Bombs Cambodia
    President Nixon orders secret bombings in Cambodia under suspicion that communist base camps and supply areas were located there. This has become known as Operation Menu.
  • President Nixon approves Cambodia Invasion

    President Nixon approves Cambodia Invasion
    Cambodian Invasion
    President Nixon approves sending combat troops to invade Cambodia in what would later become known as the Cambodian Campaign. This expansion of the war resulted in protests from students and congress.
  • Kent State Incident

    Kent State Incident
    Kent State Shootings
    After President Nixon announced the expand of the war into Cambodia and plans to draft 150,000 additional troops, students at Kent State University in Ohio broke out into protests and eventually set the ROTC building on fire. This lead the governor of Ohio to send out 900 National Guardsmen to campus. As the protest continued, an altercation occurred and 28 of the Guardsmen began to fire on students.
  • Jackson State Incident

    Jackson State Incident
    Jackson State Shootings
    Ten days after the Kent State Incident, there were protests on the predominantly African-American college campus of Jackson State University in Mississippi. Similar to the events at Kent State, students at Jackson State were protesting the war, in addition to the treatment of the students at Kent State. As the riot increased, the police were called and 2 students were killed & others injured
  • Operation Lam Son 719 Begins

    Operation Lam Son 719 Begins
    Operation Lam Son 719
    Operation Lam Son 719 was a mission by S. Vietnam to destroy communist supplies of N. Vietnam and the infiltiration network along Route 9 in Laos. The battle was considered some of the bloodiest fighting of the war. The operation was supported by US airpower & artillery, however as N. Vietnam sent in more troops, S. Vietnam lost the battle.
  • Christmas Bombings Begin

    Christmas Bombings Begin
    Christmas Bombing of N. Vietnam
    After failed peace talks with North Vietnam, President Nixon begins a massive bombing operation known as Operation Linebacker II across N. Vietnam until December 29th when N. Vietnam agreed to resume peace talks.
  • Paris Peace Accords Signed

    Paris Peace Accords Signed
    Paris Peace Accords
    This settlement placed a cease-fire throughout Vietnam. It also stated that all US troops & advisors (which was down to approx 23,700) would return home & US bases would dismantle in 60 days. All POW would be released from the N. Vietnamese. Foreign troops would leave Cambodia & Laos.
  • U.S. War Powers Act of 1973

    U.S. War Powers Act of 1973
    War Powers Act of 1973
    After the Vietnam War, the War Powers Act of 1973 was passed to prevent any "Future Vietnams". In other words, the military powers of presidents were further defined in order to avoid expanding wars in the future without Congress and Senate approval such as had occured in Cambodia. http://www.britannica.com/topic/War-Powers-Act
  • Vietnam War Ends

    Vietnam War Ends
    South Vietnam Surrenders
    South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnamese communist forces . North Vietnamese Col. Bui Tin was quoted as saying to the S. Vietnamese leader Duong Van Minh, “You have nothing to fear. Between Vietnamese there are no victors and no vanquished. Only the Americans have been beaten. If you are patriots, consider this a moment of joy. The war for our country is over.”