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Vietnam War

Vietnam War

Timeline

1945   Vietnam War: Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.

1957   Vietnam War: First United States casualties in Vietnam.

1962   Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official not to make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress.

1963   Vietnam War: Following the November 1 coup and execution of President Ngo Dinh Diem, coup leader General Duong Van Minh takes over leadership of South Vietnam.

1963   Vietnam War: Newly sworn-in US President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam both militarily and economically.

1964   Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the USS ''Card'' while docked at Saigon. Viet Cong forces are suspected of placing a bomb on the ship.

1964   Vietnam War: at a rally in Saigon, South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Khanh calls for expanding the war into North Vietnam.

1964   Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attack the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, Cai Be, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of which are children).

1964   Vietnam War: 5,000 more American military advisers are sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.

1964   Vietnam War: ulf of Tonkin Incident

1964   Vietnam War: peration Pierce Arrow

1964   Vietnam War: the U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.

1964   Vietnam War: A ''coup d'état'' replaces Duong Van Minh with General Nguyen Khanh as President of South Vietnam. A new constitution is established with aid from the U.S. Embassy.

1964   Vietnam War: U.S. officials deny any involvement in bombing North Vietnam.

1964   Vietnam War: National Security Council members agree to recommend that U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam.

1964   Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1964   Vietnam War: For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honor of the war.

1965   Vietnam War: The first United States combat troops are sent to South Vietnam.

1965   Vietnam War: A car bomb explodes in front of the US Embassy, Saigon, killing 22 and wounding 183 others.

1965   Vietnam War: American warships begin the first bombardment of National Liberation Front targets within South Vietnam.

1965   Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Xoai begins.

1965   Vietnam War: The United States uses B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam.

1965   Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.

1965   Vietnam War: the first 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrive in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh Bay.

1965   Vietnam War: Operation Starlite begins – United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war.

1965   Vietnam War: In a follow-up to August's Operation Starlight, United States Marines and South Vietnamese forces initiate Operation Piranha on the Batangan Peninsula.

1965   Vietnam War: The National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam stages the first public burning of a draft card in the United States to result in arrest under a new law.

1965   Vietnam War: The 1st Cavalry Division (United States) (Airmobile), in conjunction with South Vietnamese forces, launches a new operation seeking to destroy North Vietnamese forces in Pleiku in the II Corps Tactical Zone (the Central Highlands).

1965   Vietnam War: Just miles from Da Nang, United States Marines repel an intense attack by wave after wave of Viet Cong forces, killing 56 guerrillas. Among the dead, a sketch of Marine positions is found on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who sold drinks to the Marines the day before.

1965   The 173rd Airborne is ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump during the Vietnam War, while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fight one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Vietcong at the Battle of Gang Toi.

1965   Catholic Worker member Roger Allen LaPorte, protesting against the Vietnam War, sets himself on fire in front of the United Nations building.

1965   Vietnam War: The Battle of the Ia Drang begins – the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.

1965   Vietnam War: The Pentagon tells U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that if planned operations are to succeed, the number of American troops in Vietnam has to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.

1965   Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966.

1966   Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong. The committee intends to introduce legislation making these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 people are arrested.

1967   Vietnam War: United States Marine Corps and ARVN troops launch "Operation Deckhouse Five" in the Mekong River delta.

1967   Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland says in a news conference that the enemy had "gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily."

1967   Vietnam War: Operation Swift begins: U.S. Marines engage the North Vietnamese in battle in the Que Son Valley.

1967   Vietnam War: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives are futile because of North Vietnam's opposition

1967   The Vietnam War: The folk singer Joan Baez is arrested concerning a physical blockade of the U.S. Army's induction center in Oakland, California.

1967   Vietnam War: More than 100,000 war protesters gather in Washington, D.C.. A peaceful rally at the Lincoln Memorial is followed by a march to The Pentagon and clashes with soldiers and United States Marshals protecting the facility. Similar demonstrations occurred simultaneously in Japan and Western Europe.

1967   Vietnam War: US President Lyndon B. Johnson and "The Wise Men" conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic reports on the progress of the war.

1967   Vietnam War: The Battle of Dak To begins.

1967   Vietnam War: In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, three American prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to "new left" antiwar activist Tom Hayden.

1967   Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports that he had been given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells the nation that, while much remained to be done, "We are inflicting greater losses than we're taking...We are making progress."

1967   Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland tells news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing."

1967   Vietnam War: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation.

1967   Vietnam War: US and South Vietnamese forces engage Viet Cong troops in the Mekong Delta.

1968   Vietnam War: attle of Khe Sanh

1968   Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive begins when Viet Cong forces launch a series of surprise attacks in South Vietnam.

1968   Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan is videotaped and photographed by Eddie Adams. This image helped build opposition to the Vietnam War.

1968   Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh begins.

1968   Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive is halted; South Vietnam recaptures Hué.

1968   Vietnam War: In the My Lai massacre, between 350 and 500 Vietnamese villagers (men, women, and children) are killed by American troops.

1968   Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university.

1968   Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Trương Đình Dzũ is sentenced to five years hard labor for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.

1968   Vietnam War: peration Sealords

1968   Vietnam War: 27 soldiers are arrested at the Presidio of San Francisco in California for their peaceful protest of stockade conditions and the Vietnam War.

1968   Vietnam War: 27 soldiers are arrested at the Presidio of San Francisco in California for their peaceful protest of stockade conditions and the Vietnam War.

1968   Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.

1968   Vietnam War: United States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire and is later awarded the Medal of Honor.

1969   Vietnam War: U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announces that the United States will start to "Vietnamize" the war effort.

1969   Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations occur in many U.S. cities.

1969   Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia begins with an assault on Hill 937. It will ultimately become known as Hamburger Hill.

1969   Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This is the start of the "Vietnamization" of the war.

1969   Vietnam War: US President Richard M. Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and meets with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and U.S. military commanders.

1969   Vietnam War: at the apartment of French intermediary Jean Sainteny in Paris, American representative Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Xuan Thuy begin secret peace negotiations. The negotiations will eventually fail.

1969   Vietnam War; The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam was held in Washington DC and across the US. Over 2 million demonstrated nationally; about 250,000 in the nation's capitol.

1969   Vietnam War: y Lai Massacre

1969   Vietnam War: Anti-war protesters in Washington, D.C. stage a symbolic ''March Against Death''.

1969   Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".

1969   Vietnam War: The ''Cleveland Plain Dealer'' publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

1970   Vietnam War: Captain Ernest Medina is charged with My Lai war crimes.

1970   Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorizes American combat troops to fight communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.

1970   Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.

1970   Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: the Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, open fire killing four students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the United States' invasion of Cambodia.

1970   Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrate in front of the White House.

1970   Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War, East Los Angeles, California. Police riot kills three people, including journalist Ruben Salazar.

1970   Vietnam War: Operation Jefferson Glenn begins: the United States 101st Airborne Division and the South Vietnamese 1st Infantry Division initiate a new operation in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.

1970   In Vietnam, the worst monsoon to hit the area in six years causes large floods, kills 293, leaves 200,000 homeless and virtually halts the Vietnam War.

1970   Vietnam War: ietnamization

1970   Vietnam War: The United States Military Assistance Command in Vietnam reports the lowest weekly American soldier death toll in five years (24).

1970   Vietnam War: The Supreme Court of the United States votes 6 to 3 against hearing a case to allow Massachusetts to enforce its law granting residents the right to refuse military service in an undeclared war.

1970   Vietnam War: ietnamization

1970   Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre.

1971   Vietnam War: Backed by American air and artillery support, South Vietnamese troops invade Laos.

1971   Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans Against the War begin a five-day demonstration in Washington, D.C..

1971   Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Khanh between Australian and Vietnamese communist forces begins.

1971   Vietnam War: ''The New York Times'' begins publication of the Pentagon Papers.

1972   Vietnam War: ietnamization

1972   Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive begins – North Vietnamese soldiers of the 304th Division take the northern half of Quang Tri Province.

1972   Vietnam War: aster Offensive

1972   Vietnam War: For the first time since November 1967, American B-52 bombers reportedly begin bombing North Vietnam.

1972   Vietnam War: Increased American bombing in Vietnam prompts anti-war protests in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco.

1972   Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive – The North Vietnamese 320th Division forces 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum.

1972   Vietnam War: the last United States ground combat unit departs South Vietnam.

1972   Vietnam War: In Saigon, Henry Kissinger and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu meet to discuss a proposed cease-fire that had been worked out between Americans and North Vietnamese in Paris.

1972   Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam due to the fact that troop levels are now down to 27,000.

1972   Vietnam War: Henry Kissinger announces that North Vietnam has left private peace negotiations, in Paris.

1972   Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.

1972   Vietnam War: The United States halts heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

1973   Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.

1973   The Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict's last recorded American combat casualty.

1973   Vietnam War: First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam takes place.

1973   Vietnam War: The first United States prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong.

1973   Vietnam War: The last United States combat soldiers leave South Vietnam.

1973   Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.

1974   Vietnam War: the U.S. Congress places a $1 billion dollar limit on military aid to South Vietnam.

1975   Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees flee from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.

1975   Vietnam War: peration Baby Lift

1975   Vietnam War: President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu flees Saigon, as Xuan Loc, the last South Vietnamese outpost blocking a direct North Vietnamese assault on Saigon, falls.

1975   Fall of Saigon (or Liberation of Saigon from the Communist perspective): Communist forces gain control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh.

1975   Gays in the military: US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appears in his Air Force uniform on the cover of ''Time'' magazine with the headline "I Am A Homosexual". He is later given a general discharge.

1977   President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada.

1982   The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.

2000   Bill Clinton becomes the first U.S. President to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.