Vietnam Timeline

1950- 1982

Main

Truman

1950

Truman refused to recognize Democratic Republic of Vietnam Communist China and USSR did recognize Ho’s state

Ngo Dinh Diem president of S. Vietnam

1955

Pro-American Ngo Dinh Diem became President of South Vietnam in October. America agreed to train Diem’s army.

Vietminh guerilla warfare

1957

Vietminh started campaign of guerrilla warfare in South Vietnam

Kennedy pledges aid in S. Vietnam

1961

US President Kennedy pledged extra aid to South Vietnam

President Diem killed in a military coup

1963

President Diem killed in a military coup

Gulf of Tonkin

1964

Gulf of Tonkin incident; Congress passed the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Resolution’; America bombs targets in North Vietnam

Operation Rolling Thunder

1965

‘Operation Rolling Thunder’ started; first US combat troops were sent to Vietnam in March; by the end of the year there were 200,000 US troops there

Nguyen Van Thieu president of S. Vietnam

1967

Nguyen Van Thieu became President of South Vietnam

Tet Offensive

1968

Tet Offensive; demonstrations against the war started in America [Vietnam; anti-Vietnam War riots in Chicago (August)]; MY Lai massacre; peace talks began in Paris

Vietnamization

1969

Nixon ordered secret bombing of Cambodia; ‘Vietnamization’ started; Nixon announced the start of US troop withdrawals; Ho Chi Minh died; My Lai massacre made public in November

Kent State

1970

Four student demonstrators shot dead at Kent State University; 280,000 US troops in Vietnam; secret peace talks held in Paris; large scale anti-war demonstrations throughout USA

William Calley convicted

1971

140,000 US troops in Vietnam; Lt. William Calley convicted of murder at My Lai and jailed

Peace is at hand

1972

Haiphong harbour mined (May); “Peace is at hand” – Dr Kissinger

Ceasefire

1973

Ceasefire signed in Paris; last US troops left Vietnam

Fall of Saigon

1975

Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia; NLF captured Saigon

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

1982

Vietnam Veterans Memorial unveiled in Washington DC