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VIETNAM WAR 1964-1973

5 presidencies
(Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ,
Nixon, Ford)
France out in 1954
Cold War Stuff
Hot War 1964-1973

Division of Vietnam

Geneva Conference, 1954 -- 17th parallel

Ngo Dinh Diems South
Ho Chi Minh leader of communists in
North Vietnam

Why We Fight
Domino Theory
Vietnam, Laos,
Cambodia, Thailand,

Who We Fight
Vietcong South
Vietminh North
Officially called the
NLF (National
Liberation Front)
Civil War

LBJs War
"Im not going to be the
president who saw
Southeast Asia go the
way China went."
Dean Rusk, Sec. of State
Robert McNamara, Sec.
of Defense
Non-Communist Govt.

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, 1964

Official Story
Aug.2 Unprovoked
Attack on U.S.S. Maddox
Aug. 4 Follow up
Aug. 7 LBJ introduces
Resolution demanding
power to take all
necessary steps to
prevent further aggression

Truth Behind the

Aug. 2 USS
Maddox was not on
regular patrol. It
was gathering intel for
S. Vietnam
Aug. 4 attack never
even happened
Media jumped on LBJ
As did Congress

"For all I know, our

Navy was shooting
at whales out
-LBJ, 1965

Operation Rolling Thunder

US Escalates
Domino Theory!!
US bombing
"Ho Chi Minh Trail"

Napalm & Agent Orange

Napalm tough jelly
Agent Orange kills
G.I. Cancer

Jungle War

Search & destroy

Vietcong backyard
Avg GI = 19

Tet Offensive, 1968

Tet New Year, Jan 30.
VC attack!

1968 Homefront

Tet Offensive
My Lai Massacre
Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated
Robert Kennedy assassinated
Riot outside the Democratic National Convention
in Chicago
Nixons victory ushered in an era of political
Stokely Carmichael & Black Panthers
Summer of Love

Nixons War
1969 Secret Plan?
Nope. 4 more years,
thousands lost
Lottery draft
Nixon Doctrine

Silent Majority Speech

Large-scale protests
My Lai Massacre,
1968 (revealed to
public in 1969)
By October 1969, 2
million protest
Silent Majority
Protestors were

"Pentagon Papers" 1971

Classified docs leaked to
Govt. deception
Primary reason for
fighting was not to
eliminate communism but
to "avoid a humiliating
political defeat."
Gulf of Tonkin truth

Paris Accords (1973)

N. Vietnam controls South

US POWs freed
US withdraws
Nixon: "Peace with honor"
Critics: "Could have come to
this agreement 4 years earlier."
March 29, 1973 last troops
S. Vietnam falls in 1975
Saigon Ho Chi Minh City

Costs of the War

58,000 dead Americans

300,000 wounded
MIA -2,583
Over 2 million Vietnamese dead
MIAs - 300,000
No Great Society
Public Distrust (Watergate also)
26th Amendment