Vietnam War Timeline

  • Vietnam Declares Independence

    Vietnam Declares Independence
    President Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam's independence from France, and Japan releases its control over Vietnam.
  • Period: to

    Vietnam War

  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    On July 20 and 21 of 1954, an international conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where countries addressed the future of Indochina. The Geneva Accords temporarily divided Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was a communist state led by Ho Chi Minh, and South Vietnam was a democracy led by Ngo Dinh Diem, an anticommunist. The Geneva Accords also called for free elections in July 1956 to reunite North and South Vietnam.
  • Eisenhower's re-election

    Eisenhower's re-election
    Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower beats Democrat Adlai Stevenson for presidency, marking Eisenhower's second term in office.
  • National Liberation Front organized in South Vietnam

    National Liberation Front organized in South Vietnam
    A front that consisted of citizens who opposed Ngo Dinh Diem and wanted to unify Vietnam. The NLF was a communist army in Vietnam that fought against the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War. The NLF was better known as the Vietcong which used guerilla warfare.
  • JFK elected President

    JFK elected President
    John F. Kennedy is elected President, beating Hubert Humphrey in the Democratic primaries and Richard Nixon in the General elections to become the 35th President of the United States of America.
  • Johnson becomes President

    Johnson becomes President
    Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President after Kennedy is assassinated and finishes Kennedy's term.
  • Gulf of Tonkin

    Gulf of Tonkin
    On August 2, 1964, a U.S. navy vessel and North Vietnamese vessel exchanged fire in the Gulf of Tonkin, located off the North Vietnamese coast. On August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which gave President Lyndon B. Johnson the power "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States."
  • President Johnson is re-elected

    President Johnson is re-elected
    After finishing Kennedy's term, President Lyndon B. Johnson is re-elected with Hubert Humphrey as his Vice President. Johnson's inauguration is on January 20, 1965.
  • First United States ground troops go to Vietnam

    First United States ground troops go to Vietnam
    In the month of March 1965, the first U.S. combat troops arrived in South Vietnam.
  • Senate Hearings on War

    Senate Hearings on War
    Also named as the Vietnam Hearings, the Senate Hearings on War was a report on the Vietnam War by a journalist who interviewed more than 200 U.S. troops. The journalist wrote to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J. William Fulbright, explaining how bad the war is. One officer told the reporter, "If there is a God, and he is very kind to us, and given a million men, and five years, and a miracle in making the South Vietnamese people like us, we stand an outside chance—of a stalemate."
  • Vietnam Educational Hearings

    Vietnam Educational Hearings
    During February of 1966, Congress began to hold educational hearings where retired generals and officials were asked about their strategies for the war.
  • Demonstration in New York City

    Demonstration in New York City
    An estimated 100,000 demonstraters walked from Central Park to the United Nations to protest against the Vietnam War. It was one of the largest demonstrations in New York City, and one of the demonstraters included Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Demonstrations at the Pentagon

    Demonstrations at the Pentagon
    A crowd of 35,000 demonstrators marched to the Pentagon to protest against the Vietnam War. Some forced their way into the Pentagon while other assaulted Deputies and soldiers with vegetables, rocks, and bottles. Hidden inside the Pentagon and other government buildings were five to six thousand Army troops armed with rifles and bayonets.
  • Viet Cong launch Tet Offensive

    Viet Cong launch Tet Offensive
    From January 30 to 31 of 1968, the Viet Cong launch the Tet Offensive - a surprise attack on U.S. forces throughout southern Vietnam and invading the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.
  • Nixon is elected President

    Nixon is elected President
    After being nominated by the Republicans, former Vice President Richard M. Nixon beats Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace, and takes office.
  • Vietnamization

    On November 3, 1969, President Richard Nixon gave a speech about the United State's contribution to the Vietnam War, and declared that he would pull out troops from Vietnam. In this process called Vietnamization, the United States would gradually turn over all of the fighting to the South Vietnamese army. The United States would continue to provide supplies and training to South Vietnam while U.S. troops left the country.
  • Students killed during antiwar protests at Kent University

    Students killed during antiwar protests at Kent University
    Students at Kent State University protested, while National Guard troops tried to break up the protests. The troops used tear gas while students threw rocks at them. Some of the guardsmen opened fire, injuring nine and killing four students.
  • Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia

    Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia
    Nixon announced that he would send U.S. troops to protect Cambodia's new, pro-U.S. government, but instead invades Cambodia. It appeared to be that Nixon was expanding the war.
  • Paris Accord

    Paris Accord
    Representatives of the National Liberation Front, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the United States signed a cease-fire and a series of peace agreements in Paris. These agreements are known as the Paris Peace Accords, and call for the removal of all U.S. troops and the return of all American prisoners of war.
  • United States involvement in war ends

    United States involvement in war ends
    In March 1973, the United States ends its involvement in the Vietnam War and the last American troops leave Vietnam.
  • War Powers Act

    War Powers Act
    The War Powers Act or Resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress over the veto of President Richard Nixon. It was made to restrain the President's ability to send U.S. forces overseas without having the executive branch consult with and report to Congress.
  • South Vietnamese surrenders to Communists

    South Vietnamese surrenders to Communists
    After the North Vietnamese had captured the couther capital, Saigon, South Vietnam surrenders, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam forms. North and South Vietnam were officially unified as one country under a communist government.