1939-45 World War II
Viet Minh created in 1941 by Ho Chi Minh
Primarily led by Communists.
Japanese defeat Indochina
Viet Minh launch guerrilla warfare against Japanese
Viet Minh take control of Hanoi (in north Vietnam) and proclaim the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam
British landed in Saigon (in South Vietnam) and returned authority to the French.
French first promised to recognize the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, then bombarded coast.
China offered help to the Viet Minh
US pledged to send military advisers to help French
Korean War (1950-1953) began
(Mar.) Viet Minh defeated French at Dien Bien Phu
Led by North Vietnam General Vo Nguyen Giap
(Apr.) Eisenhower gave "domino theory" speech.
Feared French defeat in Vietnam would lead to communist domination of SEA and block US access to resources.
(Jul.) Geneva Conference Agreement
Vietnam temporarily divided at 17th parallel
Elections supposed to be held in 1956
No foreign military allowed in Vietnam
Agreement not signed by U.S. or Bao Dai (Vietnam's former Emperor, temporary premier)
Eisenhower said it was "a disaster for the free world" (in Pentagon Papers)
Ngo Dinh Diem (supported by U.S.) became leader of South Vietnam
Defeated Bao Dai in rigged elections
Rejected Geneva Accords
Rejected call for nationwide elections
French left Vietnam
U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) trained SV forces
Eisenhower administration violated Geneva Agreements
Militarized South Vietnam
CIA destroyed key Viet Minh installations.
SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) founded Sep. 8
Created to block communist gains in SEA
Members: Australia, NZ, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Fr., U.S., U.K.
Ngo Dinh Diem began cracking down on communists and dissidents
Viet Minh became National Liberation Front (NLF)
Ngo Dinh Diem called them Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists)
John F. Kennedy elected president (inaugurated 1961)
U.S. Military began using herbicide Agent Orange
To destroy foliage (leaves) along Ho Chi Minh Trail
Four million Vietnamese exposed
Caused deformities, cancer etc.
Kennedy began to send 15,000 "advisors" to Vietnam
To train self-defense troops
Ngo Dinh Diem unpopular
Replaced protesting Buddhists with Catholics
Some Buddhists self-immolated (set themselves on fire)
1963 U.S. back coup against Ngo Dinh Diem
Kennedy believed a more popular government could defeat Ho Chi Minh and Viet Cong
Ngo Dinh Diem overthrown - he and his brother killed by SV military
US secretly approves
(Nov. 22) JFK killed by Harvey Lee Oswald
(Aug. 2 and 4) U.S.S. Maddox bombed in Gulf of Tonkin
Result = Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gave President Johnson a "blank check" to take any measures necessary in Vietnam
(Nov) LBJ reelected by a landslide against Goldwater
Operation Rolling Thunder
Escalation of fighting
Bombing of north Vietnam, 2 x more bombs than in WWII, little effect on the Vietcong
Only hardened their will to fight.
First conventional battle at la Drang Valley - heavy casualties
US. troops to 200,000
B-52s used for first time to bomb North Vietnam
By 1966 380,000 troops stationed in Vietnam
(1967 - 485,000, 1968 - 536,000)
CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) reports that conscription falls most heavily on poor and minorities.
Calls for withdrawal of US from Vietnam.
Americanization of war by General Westmoreland (Commander of US forces) and Robert McNamara ( Secretary of Defense)
Cost of war by 1967, $27 billion
Martin Luther King Jr. urged resistance to the daft and merging civil rights and antiwar groups.
(Jan.) Tet Offensive (Lunar New Year, turning point)
NV attack more than 100 cities in South Vietnam (inc. Saigon)
To foment a South Vietnamese rebellion
And get US to back down.
Viet Minh almost overrun U.S. Embassy
But are defeated
Attack is televised in the news.
Causes shift in American sentiments
Questioning if US is winning war.
My Lai Offensive
US troops execute 500 civilians (mostly women and children) in city of My Lai.
(Apr.) MLK assassinated.
(Jun.) Robert Kennedy assassinated.
(Nov.) Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey
Nixon secretly began bombing neutral Cambodia
To destroy Vietcong supply routes and base camps
Called "Operation Breakfast"
Nixon publicly declared intention for an "honorable peace"
U.S. military role to be scaled down
Policy of "Vietnamization"
Withdrawing troops and transferring responsibility for war to South Vietnam
Lottery system for Selective Service draft enacted
(Sep. 2) Ho Chi Minh died
(Nov. 3) Nixon Doctrine
No U.S. troops fight, nations fight own war (but Nixon contradicted himself)
News of My Lai comes out in Life Magazine article by Seymour Hersh
(Apr. 30) Nixon announced bombing in Cambodia
Kent State University (May 4)
Students demonstrated against bombing of Cambodia
Ohio National Guard opened fire
Four students killed, nine wounded
Pentagon Papers released by Daniel Ellsberg to NY Times
Secret Pentagon study of US involvement in Vietnam War
Revealed legacy of deception by presidents and U.S. military
First excerpt published in NY Times Jun. 13, 1971
Nixon tried to stop publication but Supreme Court allowed it.
Embarrassing for Kennedy and Johnson (nothing in papers about Nixon)
Veterans against the War throw medals on steps of capitol in disgust.
(Sep.) Daniel Ellsburg's psychiatrist's office burglarized by Nixon-supported "Plumbers"
"Plumbers" = G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt
In order to discredit Ellsburg as mentally unstable.
White House created "enemies list" of Americans who opposed Nixon or the Vietnam War
Secret negotiations between US and North Vietnam revealed
(Feb.) Nixon to Beijing, China (PRC)
Organized by Sec. of State Henry Kissinger
Met with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai
(May) Nixon traveled to Moscow, Russia (USSR)
Met with Leonid Brezhnev
Signed (Anti-Ballistic Missile) ABM Treaty
And SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty)
= Detente between Cold War enemies
(Jun) Watergate break-in at DNC headquarters by CREEP
Kissinger met with North Vietnam's foreign minister, Le Duc Tho
North agreed to interim arrangement keeping government in Saigon
Kissinger says "peace is at hand"
(Aug.) Nixon swore publicly that White House was not involved in break-in
(Oct.) Story of Watergate published in Washington Post (Woodward/Bernstein)
(Nov) Nixon reelected
(Dec.) Christmas bombing
Peace talks with North Vietnamese collapse
B-52 bombing raids on North Vietnam
Jan. 27, 1973 Paris Peace Accords signed.
Promised cease-fire and free elections
But armistice didn't end war.
Congress refused to give money for bombing Cambodia after Aug. 1973
Kissinger and Le Duc Tho win Nobel Peace Prize
Tho declines because no peace
Nixon's VP, Spiro Agnew, resigned because he took bribes as governor of MD.
Replaced by Gerald Ford
Revealed that Nixon taped all conversations in White House
Nixon claims "executive privilege" and refuses to hand them over.
Court forces him to give them up -- gap of 18.5 minutes discovered.
(Nov) War Powers Act
Passed over Nixon's veto
Required Nixon and any future president to report to Congress within 48 hours after taking military action.
And Congress had to approve any military action that lasted more than 60 days.
President Thieu announces renewal of war against NLF.
(Aug.) Nixon resigned, Ford became president
NLF reorganizes for major offensive in South.
North Vietnamese launch final offensive against South Vietnam
Saigon is captured and renamed Ho Chi Minh City
Ford announced that Vietnam War is "finished"
1.7 million Vietnamese had died in war.
58,000 Americans died
1975-1979 Communist Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot take over in Cambodia
AP QUESTIONS ON VIETNAM WAR
(LEQ) Analyze the effects of the Vietnam War on TWO of the following in the United States in the period from 1961 to 1975. (2010)
The population between 18 and 35 years old
Cold War Diplomacy
(DBQ) Analyze the ways in which the Vietnam War heightened social, political and economic tensions in the United States. Focus your answer on the period 1964 to 1975. (2008)