The "Containment" Theory- Communism is like a virus, you can't kill it, but you can quarantine it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
1953 - 1961
The Domino Theory- If the US does not stop communism in Vietnam, it will continue to expand throughout Asia.
John F Kennedy
1961 - 1963
1963 - 1969
Strongly believed in the Domino Theory. Strongly affected by the stress of the Vietnam War which was physically visible.
1969 - 1974
US spends a lot of $ on the reconstruction of Europe
End of WWII
The end of the second World War leaves a large amount of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Both nations had opposing views of how the postwar-world should look.
Iron Curtain Speech
Winston Churchill challenged the US to maintaining world peace. They should put a stop to Russia's rise to power before another world war happens.
Soviets barred off Berlin from all, including allies. US chose to drop supplies in through aircraft to aide civilians inside.
Creation of the CIA
President Truman expresses his opinion on the issue with Greece and how the US should get involved. He believed it was the job of the US to take care of "infant" countries so that they did not fall to communist rule.
Creation of NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Start of the Red Scare
Roughly around 1952 McCarthy proposed the idea that there were communist sympathizers in the US. Created widespread paranoia.
The agreement that Vietnam would be split in half. Soldiers who supported the French would go south and the Viet Minh would go north (meaning north Vietnam was under communist control) . In two years an election would be held to decide which side gains control of all of Vietnam.
If Vietnam falls to Communism, it will continue to spread all over Asia.
Gulf of Tonkin
A US navy ship (in enemy territory) announced they had been attacked. Later discovered it was a false alarm, although too late since it had already led to US military involvement in Vietnam.
Operation Rolling Thunder
Air raids on Vietnam, did not do a lot of damage. Led to the realization that the tunnels were nearly impenetrable.
My Lai Massacre
Jumpy US soldiers were ordered to attack the village of My Lai under false information. They expected to find Vietcong, but instead found women, children, and elderly which they fired upon.
Before the Tet Offensive, Johnson had told US citizens that the Vietnam War had been going well. However, when the North Vietnam launched the major attack on the US (known as the Tet Offensive), it made many question the government's honesty.
"Peaceful" protest by US college students escalated when students began throwing rocks at soldiers, who retaliated by firing on the crowd.
A slip up by Nixon to secure that he would be elected. Led to his resignation from office and further distrust of the government.
Fall of Saigon
US Soldiers Officially Leave Vietnam
World War II
1939 - 1945
Soviets were allied with Germany until Hitler decided to invade Russia. Then the switched to be allied with the US.
Rise of Communism. China becomes a big player in the ongoing struggle between Communism and Democracy.
1950 - 1953
The Soviets backed North Korea's attack on South Korea after the US withdrew most of their troops. The US asked the UN to aide in backing up South Korea, which, without any opportunity for the Soviet Union to oppose, they agreed to. Resulted in a draw, neither side gained.
Dien Bien Phu
1953 - 1954
Battle between the Vietnamese and the French. The French lose, badly.