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Vietnam War Part II Section 3. A Turning Point January 1968 was the start of the Tet Offensive January 30 th is the Vietnamese New Year known as the Tet.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War Part II Section 3. A Turning Point January 1968 was the start of the Tet Offensive January 30 th is the Vietnamese New Year known as the Tet."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vietnam War Part II Section 3

2 A Turning Point January 1968 was the start of the Tet Offensive January 30 th is the Vietnamese New Year known as the Tet In the past this holiday was honored with a lull in the fighting This year the Vietcong executed strikes in more than 100 cities and 12 US military bases At one point the Communist troops held the courtyard of the US Embassy The North expected the people in the South to greet them as liberators, but it was not so

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4 Continued More than a month later when the assault ended almost half the North’s surging troops were dead To the US media the offensive’s end was described as a defeat for the North Despite suffering heavy losses the Vietcong remained strong in many places The Tet Offensive shook the confidence of the US and showed that no part of South Vietnam was secure After the Tet Offensive, public criticism of the war rose dramatically Time and Newsweek began to call for the end of the war

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6 Back in the US After the Tet Offensive the 3 out of 4 Americans disapproved of Presidents handling of the job There were two challengers to the Democratic nomination Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy (brother of John Kennedy) In response to the support to the challengers Johnson announced that he would not seek the nomination for another term This left the race for the Whitehouse wide open

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8 Race for the Whitehouse Robert Kennedy seemed to be the shoe in for the nomination for the Democrats He was winning in the state primaries and won the crucial California Primary On the night of his victory in California Robert Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan This came just two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr The country was in shock Despite being Johnson’s Vice President, Humphrey received the Nomination and the Republicans took advantage

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10 The Republicans Richard Nixon received the Republican Nomination for the 1968 election He appealed to the patriotism of the mainstream America and also promised a crackdown on urban crime Nixon told voters he has a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam but revealed no details The popular vote for the election was close but the electoral college was a landslide in Nixon’s favor Richard Nixon was now responsible for the nation and the war in Vietnam

11 Vietnamization, and Cambodia Henry Kissinger was an advisor to several presidents and was important to Nixon Kissinger and Nixon came up with the plan of Vietnamization This involved turning the fighting over to the South Vietnamese while pulling out the US troops (sound familiar?) He hoped this would create a solid defense long enough to keep from the humiliation of defeat The process of troop withdraw was slow in 1969 there were 540,000 troops in Vietnam. Three years later 24,000 troops remained

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13 continued At the same time the Vietnamization was happening Nixon was planning to involve neutral Cambodia Cambodia contained the North Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh supply trail Nixon ordered the wide spread bombing of Cambodia wanting to show the Vietcong that the US was still willing to use force Nixon and Kissinger concealed the air strikes of Cambodia from the US public, congress, and key military leaders

14 Antiwar protest increase Because of the invasion of Cambodia the antiwar protesters were outraged This protesting was especially pronounced on College Campuses At Kent State in Ohio protesters set fire to the ROTC building on campus and the Governor vowed to “eradiate” the protesters May 4, 1970 National guard troops sent to control demonstrators fired into a large group of students killing four students 10 days later 2 students were killed by state police at Jackson State College

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16 The War Continues Congress was also upset by the invasion of Cambodia and repealed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution Nixon claimed that this did not affect his authority to carry on the war Congressional leaders made plans to stop the war by cutting off funding for the war The Pentagon Papers revealed that the Govt had frequently misled the American people about the course of the war This led to the further boosting of the antiwar movement

17 Continued As many others had Nixon miscalculated the opposition and the war grew more fierce In order to reveal the weakness of Nixon’s Vietnamization the North sent troops deeper South This led Nixon to increase the amount of bombs being dropped in the North Despite all Nixon had wanted to do in Vietnam the opposition now held more territory in the South than ever

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