Vietnam War Timeline

by thot97
Last updated 5 years ago

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Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
History
Grade:
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

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Vietnam War Timeline

1950: The United States sends $15 million dollars in military aid to the French for the war in Indochina. Included in the aid package is a military mission and military advisors.

1968: On March 16, the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the village of My Lai. "This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers. A short time later the killing began. When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the US political establishment, the military's chain of command, and an already divided American public.

1968: In a show of military might that catches the US military off guard, North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces sweep down upon several key cities and provinces in South Vietnam, including its capital, Saigon. Within days, American forces turn back the onslaught and recapture most areas. From a military point of view, Tet is a huge defeat for the Communists, but turns out to be a political and psychological victory. The US military's assessment of the war is questioned and the "end of tunnel" seems very far off.

1991-97: Ushering in a new era of cooperation between the two former enemies, the United States and Vietnam exchange ambassadors. Douglas "Pete" Peterson, a prisoner of war for 6 years during the Vietnam War, is named US envoy to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, while H.E. Le Van Bang assumes the position of Vietnamese ambassador to the United States

1967: Calling the US "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world," Martin Luther King publicly speaks out against US policy in Vietnam. King later encourages draft evasion and suggests a merger between antiwar and civil rights groups.

1965: The first conventional battle of the Vietnam war takes place as American forces clash with North Vietnamese units in the Ia Drang Valley. The US 1st Air Cavalry Division employs its newly enhanced technique of aerial reconnaissance to finally defeat the NVA, although heavy casualties are reported on both sides.

1964: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is approved by Congress on August 7 and authorizes President Lyndon Johnson to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." The resolution passes unanimously in the House, and by a margin of 82-2 in the Senate. The Resolution allows Johnson to wage all out war against North Vietnam without ever securing a formal Declaration of War from Congress.

1964: On August 2, three North Vietnamese PT boats allegedly fire torpedoes at the USS Maddox, a destroyer located in the international waters of the Tonkin Gulf, some thirty miles off the coast of North Vietnam. The attack comes after six months of covert US and South Vietnamese naval operations. A second, even more highly disputed attack, is alleged to have taken place on August 4.

1963: With tacit approval of the United States, operatives within the South Vietnamese military overthrow Diem. He and his brother Nhu are shot and killed in the aftermath.

1963: Kennedy's death meant that the problem of how to proceed in Vietnam fell squarely into the lap of his vice president, Lyndon Johnson

1975: The South Vietnamese Army loses twenty planes in a failed effort to defend Phuoc Long, a key province just north of Saigon. North Vietnamese leaders interpret the US's complete lack of response to the siege as an indication that they could move more aggressively in the South

1969: Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird describes a policy of "Vietnamization" when discussing a diminishing role for the US military in Vietnam. The objective of the policy is to shift the burden of defeating the Communists onto the South Vietnamese Army and away from the United States.

1960: John F. Kennedy narrowly defeats Richard Nixon for the presidency.

1959: Major Dale R. Buis and Master Sargeant Chester M. Ovnand become the first Americans to die in the Vietnam War when guerillas strike at Bienhoa

1957: Thirteen Americans working for MAAG and US Information Service are wounded in terrorist bombings in Saigon.

1956: The US Military Assistance Advisor Group (MAAG) assumes responsibility, from French, for training South Vietnamese forces.

1955: Britain, France, and United States covertly urge Diem to respect Geneva accords and conduct discussions with the North.

1954: Vietminh General Ta Quang Buu and French General Henri Delteil sign the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam. As part of the agreement, a provisional demarcation line is drawn at the 17th parallel which will divide Vietnam until nationwide elections are held in 1956. The United States does not accept the agreement, neither does the government of Bao Dai.

Vietnam War TimelineAmy Noack

1961: During a tour of Asian countries, Vice President Lyndon Johnson visits Diem in Saigon. Johnson assures Diem that he is crucial to US objectives in Vietnam and calls him "the Churchill of Asia."

1962: US Air Force begins using Agent Orange -- a defoliant that came in metal orange containers-to expose roads and trails used by Vietcong forces.


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