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Unit 7 The Vietnam War Era 1960 -1975 THE BIG IDEA During the Cold War, the U. S. wished to stop the spread of communism throughout S. E. Asia. As U. S. casualties mounted, Americans began to question the war. “Vietnam is the first in a line of standing dominoes. ” ~President Eisenhower 1959
I. Vietnam (V) – Before the V War A. 1800’s – France controlled V B. WWII – Japan controlled V C. After WWII - Fr wants control again D. Ho Chi Minh – V communist 1) wanted independence from Fr 2) 1954 - his army beats Fr, Ho Chi Minh is a V hero! 3) Will V be communist?
E. 1954 - Geneva Conference 1) V was separated into 2 nations a) communist North V– Ho Chi Minh b) democratic South V– Ngo Dinh Diem
Ngo Dinh Diem
1. S ruled like a dictatorship under Diem 2. 1963 Diem assassinated 3. 3 weeks later, JFK assassinated 4. Who will rule South V? 5. Opportunity for Ho Chi Minh?
II. Lyndon B. Johnson’s War A. “LBJ” – president after JFK “The Communists want to rule the world, and if we don’t stand up to them, they will do it. I’m not going to be the President who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went. ” ~President Lyndon Johnson B. Instability in South V. after Diem 1) Viet Cong (VC) – South V. guerilla army received help from Ho Chi Minh 2) Ho Chi Minh Trail - North V supply line to VC 3) North V begins take-over of South V
C. 1964 - The Tonkin Gulf Resolution 1) LBJ announces North V torpedo boats attacked U. S. destroyers in Gulf of Tonkin 2) Proof of this attack? 3) LBJ “ we must take measures to prevent further aggression by Communists. ” 4) Resolution passed 416 to 0 in House of Rep.
D. V War Escalates 1) 1964 – 25, 000 troops sent to South V. 2) 1965 – 184, 000 troops 3) 1966 – 385, 000 troops 4) 1968 – 543, 000 troops
E. The Tet Offensive 1. Jan 30, 1968 – “Tet” Vietnamese New Year 2. VC attack on the U. S. embassy in Saigon 3. Americans ask: Are we winning?
The Tet Offensive
III. The War’s Negative Perception A. To begin, most were excited in 1964 1. Defeat communism 2. Follow in father’s and grandfather’s footsteps B. Eventually, perception changed in 1968 1. The Tet Offensive
2. America’s First TV War a) Americans were not prepared for the violence they saw b) TV news strongly influenced public opinion
3. Jungle Conditions a)10’ tall elephant grass b)Flooded rice paddies c)Leeches, bugs d)Jungle rot (skin fungus)
4. Chemical Warfare a)Agent Orange – a herbicide mist b) Napalm – a fire-igniting jelly
5. Identification Troubles a) Viet. Cong? or friendly S Vietnamese? b) VC - landmines, sniper fire, traps c) heavy Vietnamese civilian casualties
6. U. S. Soldiers Out of Control? a) My Lai Massacre, March 1968 – Lt. William Calley – innocent civilians killed “We huddled them up and poured about 68 shots into the group. The mothers kept hugging their children and we kept on firing. I still dream about the women and children in my sleep. ” -U. S. Soldier Paul Meadlo b)Thang Phong Massacre - Lt. Bob Kerrey
7. The Draft a) Men between 18 -26 were drafted b) Over 1. 8 million men total c) Is a draft moral? Fair? – http: //channelone. com/news/2005/04/28/vietnam_timeline/
“We are the unwilling working for the unqualified to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful. ” - Kit Bowen, U. S. soldier in a letter to his father