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Transcript of Vietnam Era
The Vietnam Era
After World War II, Vietnam gained its independence from France. The country was split into a Communist North Vietnam, and a democratic South Vietnam, just as Korea had been. Vietnam would suffer the same fate as Korea: a bloody civil war which would involve the UN and NATO nations.
Ho Chi Minh takes control of North Vietnam. His goal is to reunite all of Vietnam under Communism, and redistribute all the land to the poor peasants throughout the country. Under his leadership, North Vietnamese forces invade South Vietnam.
Many South Vietnamese are attracted by Ho Chi Minh's ideas, and become loyal to the Communists. These South Vietnamese Communists become known as the Viet Cong. The stage is set for a bitter civil war.
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Operation Rolling Thunder
Operation Rolling Thunder was initiated by President Johnson. Bombing raids were to take place on a regular basis. The plan was to destroy the North Vietnam economy and to force her to stop helping the communist fighters in the south. Bombing was also directed against territory controlled by the Vietnamese Communists (Vietcong) in South Vietnam. The plan was for Operation Rolling Thunder to last for eight weeks but it lasted for the next three years. In that time, the US dropped 1 million tons of bombs on Vietnam.
"Eve of Destruction"
War & Protest
Fighting the War
Protests at Home
"For What It's Worth"
The Tet Offensive
Election of 1968
From the beginning of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Communists had used bases situated just inside the borders of neighboring Cambodia. In 1969, soon after becoming president, Richard Nixon gave permission for the bombing of Cambodia. The bombing failed to destroy the Vietnamese Communist bases and so in April, 1970, Nixon decided to send in troops to finish off the job.
Each capsule in the bin represented a birthday. If your birthday was drawn, and you were born between 1944-1950, you were drafted. By the late 1960's, approximately 500,000 American soldiers were in Vietnam.
Kent State Incident
The war in Cambodia resulted in massive protests around the US
Jimi Hendrix was the last artist to play at the Woodstock festival. Can you hear the war as he plays the national anthem?
The Summer of Love
The hippie movement offered an alternative lifestyle and philosophy. Rather than embrace the traditional values and politics of the US, the hippie counterculture preached love and freedom of personal choice. The Summer of Love celebrated counterculture life.
The Fall of Saigon
The Vietnam Memorial Wall is dedicated in Washington, DC.
Explore this website
To find Briarcliff veterans,
search both Briarcliff & Briarcliff Manor