Ending the vietnam War
Directions: Follow through the links and narration on this page to view some media and complete your Vietnam War notes. Be able to describe the general chronology of the Vietnam War. Can you answer basic questions like:
- Why did the U.S. get involved?
- Which presidents contributed to this conflict?
- How did U.S. involvement escalate in the 1960s?
- Why did the protest movement develop?
- How did our involvement end?
- How did the Vietnam War change American politics and/or society?
Richard Nixon Elected - 1968
Click the quote to hear Richard Nixon addressing the "Silent Majority" and record his meaning of this term in your notes, or read about it here.
(Sidenote: This is a term that was adopted by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign! Do you think it was applicable in the 2016 election?)
Nixon's 1968 campaign promised to end the war.
But first he expands the conflict by sending additional troops to Cambodia & Laos. Click here to learn about and record a definition of "Vietnamization."
Click on the picture below to hear John Green's take on Nixon and the end of the war in Vietnam.
"Peace with Honor"
The Pentagon Papers
The New York Times and other newspapers published a series of leaked and classified documents about the federal government's involvement in the war.
The federal government sued the paper to silence these articles. The New York Times won the case. The Supreme Court upheld the freedom of the press, stating: "Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."
The NYT articles claimed the presidential administrations of Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, & LBJ had all misled the public about the degree of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. They "systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress."
The Ceasefire - 1973
Conditions to the Ceasefire:
Ceasefire collapses within months!
1975: North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam;
Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City
Below: The photo shows the North Vietnamese army invading the Southern Presidential Palace.
Above: Iconic photo showing the evacuation of South Vietnamese from the American embassy in Saigon. Click the photo to watch a video about this decision.
Below: Many South Vietnamese people who were loyal to the United States attempted to flee for fear of execution by the North.