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Vietnam War Timeline
Transcript of Vietnam War Timeline
What do you see in this picture?
What American fear does this picture visually represent? 1945 WWII Ends 1800's Since the 1800’s, Vietnam was part of French Indochina that included Laos and Cambodia. French ruled with an iron fist. 1890 - 1969 Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969)
Minh was a staunchly anti-French.
He traveled the world for 30 years seeking western support for his plans for Vietnamese independence.
When he could not find any support from western powers, he turned to the Soviets.
Minh returns home in 1941 to establish the Viet Minh independence movement.
1933-1945 Presidents Vietnam America 1945-1953 Harry S. Truman President
1945 – 1953
Truman identifies the importance of supporting Vietnamese independence as a means to prevent the spread of communism in the region.
Truman commits $2.6 Billion to help the French fight the Vietnamese between 1950 and 1954.
1954 1954: Dien Bien Phu
A French garrison held under siege for 55 days.
This allowed the Viet Minh to destroy supply lines and the French air field.
French suffered 15,000 casualties.
Forces France to surrender in May 1954.
1954: Peace Conference Geneva Switzerland.
France grants independence to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Vietnam separated at 17th parallel.
Provides for free elections in 1956 to unite Vietnam
Dec. 1946 French Foreign Legionaire marching to battle in Vietnam Dec 1946: First Indochina War
First Indochina War Begins.
Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, begins fighting the French.
1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ike, as he was known, continues Truman’s policies.
Ike refused to commit military troops but continued to provide financial aid to the French and Ngo Dinh Diem.
“You have a row of dominos set up, you know over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.”~1954
1950 Korean War begins 1953 Korean War Ends 1955 Ngo Dinh Diem meeting with President Eisenhower 1955: Ngo Dinh Diem
First leader of the newly formed Republic of Vietnam.
Ngo Dinh Diem was supported by Americans to run against Minh.
Initiated many anti-Buddhist policies.
1954 America forms SEATO with seven other countries. 1956 1956: Vietnam Unification Elections
Vietnam held its first unification elections in 1956.
The CIA predicted that the U.S. backed Diem would lose to Ho Chi Minh
Diem not to run in fear of losing to Minh.
1957 1957: National Liberation Front
As a result of Diem's refusal to participate in the unification elections the NLF is formed.
Dedicated to undermining Diem's government.
Known as Vietcong.
National Liberation Front is Formed 1961 John F. Kennedy 1961: John F. Kennedy (JFK) was elected President.
As soon as he took office, Kennedy began taking a more aggressive approach.
1961, began sending special forces troops, “advisors”, to help train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
By 1963 there were more than 15,000 American troops in Vietnam.
1963 Monks begin protesting anti-Buddhist policies. 1963 1963: John F Kennedy
Recognizing Diem was unfit to lead, Kennedy secretly plotted to overthrow Diem.
Ngo Dinh Diem is ousted an killed. Nov. 22, 1963
JFK is assassinated. Nov. 22, 1963: Lyndon B. Johnson Being sworn in on Air Force One. Lyndon B. Johnson Firmly believed in the Domino Theory.
Took a more aggressive approach than JFK. 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident USS Maddox Aug. 2, 1964
American destroyer, USS Maddox, was fired upon by a North Vietnamese boat in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The Maddox fired back in retaliation.
Johnson uses this incident to support his call for military action in Vietnam. LBJ makes a speech using the Gulf Tonkin incident to support his push for military action in Vietnam. Aug. 4, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin
Resolution Aug. 7, 1964
Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Authorized Johnson to use military force without formally declaring war on North Vietnam.
1964 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) begins to protest the war. 1965 LBJ authorize 180,000 additional troops to fight in Vietnam.
How does LBJ accomplish this? 1965 1965: Draft Initiated
To accommodate LBJs authorization of 180,000 troops, the government initiated the draft.
College students were given deferments.
What ethnicity / social class do you think received the most deferments?
Who were the primary draftees? Why is this significant?
1965: Vietnam on TV
1965 marked the beginning of the War being covered on TV.
How do you think television coverage will affect American sentiment?
1965 Vietcong in their infamous black pajamas 1965
North Vietnamese troops commit to guerilla warfare.
Vietcong wore the infamous black pajamas.
How do you think this may affect soldier morale?
How do you think soldiers may react not knowing who the enemy is?
1966-1967 Nearly half a million troops deployed to Vietnam. The war devolves into a stalemate. No sides make any significant progress. 1967-1970 1968 Tet Offensive Jan. 21, 1968
Occurred during an agreed cease-fire between North Vietnamese and Americans.
Americans caught by surprise.
Well-coordinated attack of 80,000 Vietcong.
Attacked 36 provincial capitals, 100 towns and cities, and 5 major cities including Saigon.
Given the situation at home, how do you think the American people felt about this attack?
Predict how it would domestic events.
My Lai Massacre
1968 March 16, 1968
American forces, led by Lt. Calley, killed unarmed civilians in a village called My Lai.
There was a great cover up of the incident.
By 1968 more than 30,000 American soldiers have died. 1968 Richard M. Nixon is elected president.
LBJ decides not to run due to unpopularity. 1965-1968 Operation Rolling Thunder
Americans begin dropping bombs on North Vietnam.
Nearly 864,000 tons of bombs were dropped.
More bombs than bombs dropped on Japan.
Napalm used extensiely in Vietnam Agent Orange being sprayed to clear jungle vegetation. Caused many birth defects. 1970 Richard M. Nixon
Nixon orders troops to invade Cambodia in an attempt to break the stalemate by disrupting the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail that supplied the Vietcong.
Makes announcement in Apr.
1970 Kent State Shootings May 1970: Kent State University
Four days after Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia, a protest erupted at Kent State University, OH.
Protesters lobbed rocks and bottles at the National Guard.
One shot went off, then a whole volley of shots followed.
4 youths died as a result.
How does the Kent State Killings affect popular sentiment?
1971 1971: My Lai Massacre Uncovered
Life Magazine shows pictures of My Lai.
Military investigations begin.
1971: Pentagon Papers
Did not fully inform the public on developments of Vietnam War.
Uncovers the administrations attempts to deceive Congress.
1973 War Powers Act To prevent another Presidential led escalation of conflict Congress passes the War Powers Act.
President must notify Congress within 48 hours before committing military action.
Military can only operate for 60 days without an authorization to use force.
1973 Paris Peace Accord 1973 Paris Peace Accord
North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and U.S. agree to a cease fire.
U.S. begins withdrawing troops.
1975 Saigon Falls April 30, 1975 Saigon falls to the North Vietnamese
With the U.S. no longer supporting the South, the Soviet backed North captures Saigon. 1970's 1970s: Solders begin returning home
Many soldiers returning home did not get a heroes welcome.
Many soldiers were discriminated against being called “baby killers.”
Vietnam veterans were not fully honored and recognized until the next decade.
1965 Television War Terms for the 1950-1960 Pgs. 534-535
Domino Theory (as it relates to Eisenhower)
Dien Bien Phu
NLF / Vietcong Terms for 1960-1965 Pgs. 535-536
Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Terms for 1965-1970 Pgs. 544-551
Draft / Draftees
Richard M. Nixon Terms for 1970 & Beyond Pgs. 552-559
Kent State University
My Lai (Me-Lie)
War Powers Act
By the end of the war:
58,000 American soldiers died
300,000 American soldiers were wounded.
It is estimated that 2 million Vietnamese lost their lives. Timeline Please get 5 sheets of paper.
Form 3 timelines and color code each one.
Name one timeline "Presidents", another "Vietnam" and the last time line "America."
Journal Writing Activity Imagine that you are a draftee during or after 1965. How do you feel at the time? Do you support or oppose the war?
Write a convincing journal entry with an entry name and date. Use the name and date as a theme for your entry and to guide your writing. (Remember the date will dictate what events you can reference).
Make sure you include references to a president, a major event in Vietnam, and a major event in America to support your position.
Please write at least 2 paragraphs for your journal entry.
1968 Anti-war protest at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. August 1968
10,000 protesters were present.
Mayor John Daly ordered 23,000 police and National Guard troops to contain the demonstrations.
Called a "Police-Riot" as police beat protesters with their night sticks.
LBJs Great Society LBJ begins to implent his Great Society plan that calles for enourmous domestic spending.
This coupled with the expenditures from the Vietnam War begin to weaking America's economy.