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The Vietnam War: The Home Front

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English Group

on 24 March 2014

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Transcript of The Vietnam War: The Home Front

Welcome to
The Vietnam War Museum:
The Home Front Exhibit

The Vietnam War, or to the Vietnamese, the
“American War,” was the longest and and
most unpopular war to this date. The amount
of deaths throughout this treacherous war
was massive, spanning over sixty-thousand
American deaths and over two-million Vietnam
deaths. It was the first war that received so much media attention, and this was the driving force for all the controversy over this war on the
home front. The fact of the matter was that
Americans were divided between those who
were Pro-War, or better known as Hawks, and
those who were anti-war, or Doves.
For What It's Worth
Very popular and influential song for protesters.
Protests erupted everywhere throughout the U.S., and not only against the war.

While the controversy over the war grew immensely, so did the violence that struck out during the protests, like on May 14 at Jackson State University, an all-black school in Mississippi.

Police and state highway officials opened fired during a student protest into a dorm killing two students and wounding nine others. There was absolutely no warning or evidence of anything that might have justified the shootings.

This altercation did not evoke much national attention, not like the the Kent State shootings that had occurred earlier.
The Outbreak of Violence

Students for Democratic Society (SDS) was a student activist organization that sprouted in 1959 from it's origins in the student branch of the League for Industrial Democracy. a social-democratic educational organization.

At first the organization had it's concerns around the Civil Rights movement, under the guidance of the "Port Huron Statement" written by Tom Hayden.

SDS reached a turning point in the mid 1960s when U.S. involvement in Vietnam became a growing problem on the Home Front. In April 1965, SDS organized a march on Washington, D.C., and escalated in popularity from there on.

In 1968, SDS sponsored a protest at Columbia Univ. that was ended by the arrest of more than 700 protesters. In that same year, increasingly divided by factional disputes, the organization collapsed, leaving behind a small faction, known as the Weathermen, that advocated violent revolutionary action.
In 1968, SDS sponsored a protest at Columbia Univ. that was ended by the arrest of more than 700 protesters. In that same year, increasingly divided by factional disputes, the organization collapsed, leaving behind a small faction, known as the Weathermen, that advocated violent revolutionary action.

SDS held a protest at Columbia University in 1968, where over 700 protesters were arrested. Later in 1970, SDS collapsed, but left a tremendous influence on the Home Front.
On May 4, 1970 four students were killed and nine were injured at Kent State University after twenty-eight guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of anti war protesters. Unrest escalated across America. Over five hundred colleges were shut down or disrupted by protests.

The Justice Department was reluctant to conduct a grand jury investigation despite the public outcry. It was not hard to see that these deaths were not only unnecessary but also inexcusable.Eventually, a grand jury indicted eight of the guardsmen, but the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence

Kent State Shooting

Pictures of Kent State Shooting
Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Work Cited
Home Front (noun)
the civilian sector of a nation at war when its armed forces are in combat abroad.

according to dictionary.com unabridged

What Is the Home Front?
The year of 1968 is undoubtedly one of the biggest turning points in American History. 1968 was the
height of riots, rebellion, and especially violence
; a great majority of this stemming from the protests against the Vietnam War on the Home Front. Young student organizations were increasingly on the rise as frustrations grew in regards to the war. Not only this, but America made extreme advances in the space race, and women began their protest for equal rights to men. In short, this time was a period full of many ground breaking events.
1968: The Year of Rebellion
The Vietnam War created a division amongst Americans. These sections were make up of people who supported the war and those who didn't.

Those who supported the war were known as the "Hawks", these were people like Lyndon Johnson.

Those who opposed war were known as the "Doves.", made up of people like the students who protested the war at schools like...

The Hawks believed that the aggression of the North forced US into the war. On the other hand, Doves thought that the United States had no right to medle in their conflicts, and that the money that was spent in to the war would be much better invested in America for programs, etc.
John Kerry

Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, On April 22, 1971, Kerry became the first Vietnam veteran to testify before Congress about the war, when he appeared before a Senate committee hearing on proposals relating to ending the war. He was still a member of the United States Navy Reserve, holding the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. The day after this testimony, Kerry participated in a demonstration with thousands of other veterans in which he and other veterans threw their medals and ribbons over a fence erected at the front steps of the United States Capitol building to dramatize their opposition to the war.
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.
In 1966, Haig took command of a battalion of the 1st infantry division in Vietnam. During the battle, Haig's troops, became pinned down by a Viet Cong force that outnumbered US forces by three to one. In an attempt to survey the battlefield, Haig boarded a helicopter and flew to the point of contact. His helicopter was subsequently shot down. Colonel Haig succeeded in inflicting 592 casualties on the Viet Cong. Haig was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart during his tour in Vietnam,[and was eventually promoted to Colonel, becoming a brigade commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam.

Lyndon B. Johnson
The 36th U.S. president, ended up escalating the war considerably in Vietnam after the U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. Empowered by the resolution, Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder in 1965 to bomb North Vietnam into submission. When this failed, he sent more than 500,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam and ultimately converted the conflict into a protracted and bitter war

President Nixon
Robert McNamera
Richard Nixon won American Presidency in 1968 at the height of American unrest. He had promised the American public that he would reduce U.S. troop levels in Vietnam, pursuing a plan he called "Vietnamization". "Vietnamization" called for the U.S. to gradually withdraw from the war, leaving the South Vietnamese army to shoulder the bulk of the fighting. Despite his pledge to bring American G.I.s home, American ground troop levels in Vietnam remained high and the Nixon administration expanded the war into the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia. In 1973, during Nixon's final year in office, the last U.S. combat soldiers left Vietnam, but military advisors and some Marines remained.










google images
McNamera played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. During the Kennedy administration, the U.S. military advisory group in South Vietnam steadily increased, with McNamara's concurrence, from 900 to 16,000. U.S. involvement escalated after the Gulf of Tonkin incidents in August 1964, involving an attack on a U.S. Navy destroyer by North Vietnamese naval vessels, McNamara was instrumental in presenting this event to Congress and the public as justification for escalation of the war against the communists. The Vietnam War came to claim most of McNamara's time and energy. he was a prime architect of the Vietnam War and repeatedly overruled the JCS on strategic matters. McNamara said that the Domino Theory was the main reason for entering the Vietnam War.
Daniel Berrigan
Berrigan wrote letters to major newspapers arguing for an end to the war. He received 3 American airmen, the first American POWs released by the North Vietnamese since the U.S. bombing of that nation had begun. The event was widely reported in the news media and has been discussed in a number of books
In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. In the same year he was interviewed in the the anti-Vietnam War documentary film in t”he year of the pig”, and later that year became involved in radical non-violent protest.

Protesting the War
Ohio Song
Eugene Genovese
A teacher at Rutgers University , Genovese stated, "Those of you who know me know that I am a Marxist and a Socialist. Therefore, unlike most of my distinguished colleagues here this morning, I do not fear or regret the impending Viet Cong victory in Vietnam. I welcome it. The comment was widely reported but Genovese was not fired from his position as a teacher.
Growth of the Anti-War Movement
The Anti war movement spread like wildfire amongst America's youth, artists, and important figures, and especially media. These protests were not only against the war itself, but controversy also surrounded President Nixon and other people that played a role in expanding the war.
Among the people who opposed the war were figures like Martin Luther King, John Lenon, Mohamid Al Lee (Cassius Clay), and students at colleges like Columbia University, and many others. This growth of the anti war movement motivated people to form anti war organizations like Students for a Democrating Society, which will be touched on later.

Official Military Vehicle used during the Vietnam War.






Hawks Vs Doves
These pictures scarred the memories of the families that lost people in this shooting. Media played a role in highlighting the violence that was erupting, and how serious this problem had become.
Full transcript