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Vietnam Years
Ch14 p. 434
Let’s think….
Is dealing with other people difficult sometimes?What kind of people are more difficult to deal with?Imagine having to deal with a whole other country?Which ones do you think would be easier to deal with?
14.1 JFK and Foreign Policy
JFK was against the spread of communism from the Cold War (US v USSR) so he maintained a strong military and invested in nuclear weaponsJFK started the Peace Corps (1961) sending volunteers to developing countries to help with building schools and digging wellsJFK invested in other countries in hopes of preventing them from committing to communism – the fear created after WW2
Bay of Pigs
Fidel Castro, dictator of Cuba (90 miles from US) led a revolution which overthrew the govt. Castro established a communistgovtand allied with the Soviet UnionDwight Eisenhower led CIA operation to overthrow Castro – Cuban exiles invaded Cuba by boat but were unsuccessful – they were captured or killed
Berlin Wall
Many (2+M) skilled workers and educated people escaped Eastern Berlin to the free Western Berlin “handy escape route”Stalin had been replaced with Nikita Khrushchev – he demanded the border closed to prevent any other escapesKhrushchev also threatened to take over Western Berlin but the US and JFK refused to leaveThe wall of concrete and barbed wire between East and West Berlin was built by the USSR and KhrushchevThe wall stood as a strong symbol of Cold War for 3 decades because JFK didn’t stop it
Cuban Missile Crisis
US spy planes discovered Soviets installing nuclear missiles in Cuba (1962) that could destroy any US cities within minutesUS Navy formed a blockade around Cuba preventing USSR ships from bringing any more weaponsKhrushchev agreed to remove weapons from Cuba so JFK agreed not to attack Cuba & to remove our missiles in Italy and Turkey (near USSR) The whole tense event lasted 13 days!JFK and Khrushchev set up a “hotline” for direct instant contactSigned Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty-banningnucsabove ground
Race to the Moon “Space Race”
NASA was created in 1958 but space travel was NOT common in the 50s and 60s60’s US & USSR competed to see which country could get to space first. Yuri Gagarin from USSR was first in 1961. He orbited Earth once.Alan Shepard was the first American in space; John Glenn was first American to orbit Earth.
Apollo Look at p. 437
Billions of dollars were invested in NASAProject Apollo had a goal of landing on the moonThree pieces were used: rocket that escapes Earth’s gravity; spacecraft that can orbit the moon; and a lander that could place the astronauts on the moon (the Eagle)1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were first people to walk on the moon- they planted an American flag in it and collected moon rocks“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Vietnam Conflict Map on p. 438
Before WW2 France controlled Vietnam. Vietnam declared independence after WW2 Japanese control. Ho Chi Minh led a Communist revolution.France moved in to prove Vietnam was under its control & US Pres Truman and D Eisenhower allied with France- sent aid. They feared communism spreading with a Vietnamese victory.Vietnam used guerrilla tactics to weaken French. The French surrendered atDienBienPhu.Geneva Accord (agreement) split Vietnam temporarily
Separated Vietnam
North became communist with dictator Ho Chi MinhSouth became democratic supported by the US and led by NgoDinhDiem1956 election should unite North and South VietnamEven though Diem did things the US disapproved of, there was no other hope to prevent communism spreadingNo election occurred in 1956 and by 1960 N Vietnam formed a group to recruit SVietamese
National Liberation Front (NLF)
NFL relied on communist groups called Vietcong as their armyVietcong were supplied and funded by N VietnamBoth S Vietnam and N Vietnam used torture for their enemies
American Involvement
JFK & Eisenhower sent aid, weapons and advisors to S VietnamDiem was becoming less poplar in S Vietnam and several groups tried to overthrow Diem’s leadership but failedWithin weeks (1963) Diem was captured and killed, JFK was assassinated and Lyndon Johnson became Pres of the USJohnson was forced to make some difficult decisions immediately
14.2 Escalation in Vietnam p. 441
Pres Johnson also was against the spread of communismTonkin Gulf Resolution: 1964 US and Vietnam exchanged gunfire in Gulf of Tonkin. Two days later more torpedoes were seen by radar so Johnson asked Congress to take action.US troops were sent to Vietnam in 1965. Air strikes began-Operation Rolling Thunder-designed to disrupt he Ho Chi Minh TrailHo Chi Minh Trail was in neutral nearby countries to destroy supply lines to N Vietnam. Planes released Agent Orange to kill dense forests to increase visibility for US
US Soldiers in Vietnam
US increased involvement throughout 1965-1968 - 500K troops in Vietnam and expected quick victory with US technologyMost of the war was fought in jungles of S VietnamUS General Westmoreland created strategy of “search & destroy”Vietcong set deadly traps and land mines; knew topography and could attack then disappear quicklyChina and Soviet Union allied with Vietnam and sent weapons. S Vietnamese were suspected of supporting N Vietnam (didn’t know who to trust)
Typical US soldier in Vietnam
2+ M soldiers ages 18-21; many minority groups from poor familiesCarried 75-90 pounds of equipment through 100 degree rainstormsConstant land mines and booby traps or enemy fireTrusted NO ONE –from 5 year old child to 75 year old grandmaWon some battles but rarely could control the land after the battleIn jungle with no GPS – didn’t know the land
Vietnam Turning Points
Tet Offensive: Tet means New Year in Vietnam. Previous years held a cease fire for the holiday but in 1968, Vietcong surprise attacked in S Vietnam and the US Embassy in Saigon (capital).Significance: many thought end was in sight but now knew the enemy was more determined to win; Americans questioned honesty of USgovtWestmoreland asked for more troops but Johnson denied sending more troops
Hawks v Doves
About half of Americans were against the Vietnam WarTV reports impacted public opinion-1sttime Americans could actually see war in their homes on TVAmericans were labeled hawks (supporters of the war) or doves (opponents of the war)
My Lai
US soldiers entered village of My Lai expecting to find Vietcong (1968)Search and destroy turned into a massacre – killing innocent civilians including childrenUS military tried to cover it up but were later exposedTheir commander, LtCalleywas tried and convicted of murderMORE Americans began to question our purpose in VietnamView p. 446-447
14.3 End of Vietnam
Antiwar protest began all over America – especially with college age students. Draft cards were burned and some men moved to Canada to avoid being drafted.Others dropped out of college to defy “status quo” and developed a hippie culture which emphasized individual freedom, nonviolence, and communal sharing. Theyrejected traditional views.
1968 Election
Due to lack of approval, Johnson chose to not run again for PresRobert Kennedy was gaining support but was quickly assassinatedThe election ended up being between VP Humphrey and Richard Nixon who promised to restore order to America with “peace and honor”Nixon won the election
Nixon in Vietnam
Nixon and his advisor Henry Kissinger usedvietnamization- pulling US out of Vietnam so S Vietnam could continue fighting for their own independenceBut soon afterwards he sent troops to Cambodia and continued to bomb Vietcong supply lines – Americans felt that betrayedProtests everywhere: Kent State University had to use the National Guard to end protest which led to tear gas and deathPentagon Papers were published in 1971 showing documents proving thatgovthad been lying to Americans about the war
1972 Election
26thamendment to the Constitution lowered voting age from 21 to 18George McGovern hoped this would help him win but Nixon won again by a landslide (lot)Nixon won 520 electoral votes while McGovern won 17
Vietnam War Ends
1973 Paris Peace Accords were signed by the U.S. , N Vietnam, S Vietnam, and the Vietcong – cease fire to end the war and return prisoners of warUS withdrew troops from Vietnam1975 N Vietnam invaded S Vietnam and the US refused to send troops to helpThe US Embassy workers were rescued by helicopter while the entire capital city of Saigon burnedVietnam War really ended when N Vietnam captured Saigon
Socialist Republic of Vietnam Impact
N and S Vietnam are now Socialist Republic of Vietnam and remain communist today. Hanoi is the capital and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh CityS Vietnam citizens were forced into “re-education camps” and enemies of communism were destroyedThe land was ruined and many people on both sides died so life in Vietnam was extremely difficult
US Impact (significance)
58K Americans killed 300K woundedMillions of dollars spentReturning soldiers were not welcomed home as heroes- many were disrespected by antiwar protestersPTSD diagnosis made it difficult to readjust to normal life – nightmares & flashbacksLess trust ingovtso War Powers Act requires Pres to get Congress approval before committing to war
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
1982 in DCDesigner Maya Lin – 21 years old from Ohio, entered a contest to design memorialMaya Lin also designed the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, ALDC-Black granite wall lists all American soldiers that were killed or missing in action from the Vietnam WarAL-Black granite wall of names killed in the Civil Rights Movement and a quote from MLK
Test Time
Practice Quizlet nightlyComplete and check chapter review p. 455-456Know vocabulary and important peopleSummarize main ideasMake an A

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Vietnam Years - images.pcmac.org