Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War, part II Ch. 24, Sec 3, 4. Protests against Vietnam Majority of US wanted to win war, wanted increased action. Vocal minority hated war, wanted."— Presentation transcript:
Protests against Vietnam Majority of US wanted to win war, wanted increased action. Vocal minority hated war, wanted US out. Became known as New Left. – Believed social problems (war, poverty, racism) required radical, sometimes violent, change. 1960-Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) created by Tom Hayden. (College movement) – Used protests to draw attention to “illegal war” in Vietnam. – Financed by Communist Party.
Students at UC Berkeley barred from handing out leaflets on campus. – Said 1 st Amendments rights being prohibited. – Began to protest, fought police who came to arrest them. – UC Berkeley leadership pressed charges, students occupied Administration Building, 700 arrested. Thousands of students & professors went on strike to protest college’s actions. UC Berkeley was most radical college, but protests occurred on colleges across US.
College students, professors led protest movement. Bout 55 U. of Michigan professors held first teach-in-special session to discuss Vietnam War. – Thousands showed up, led to teach-ins on other campuses. Until mid-1960s, only people opposed to draft were conscientious objectors-opposed fighting on moral/religious grounds. 1965-LBJ doubled draft numbers twice. – Led to draft resistance movement-burned draft cards, tried to get out of draft on physical disability/C. O. status, about 100,000 fled to Canada. – College students got deferments-not drafted until graduation or dropped out.
1968 was big year for protests. – 200 in first six months alone. – One of biggest was at Columbia in NYC. SDS tried to get college to quit military research; black student group protested building new gym in Harlem. Students took over President’s office, hundreds arrested; students struck in protest, university closed. LBJ realized he was losing public opinion. – “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” – Democratic opponents Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy gaining ground in polls. – March 1968-LBJ announced on tv that he would not seek second term in office.
1968 election Democrats: – Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey all wanted nomination. – RFK assassinated, McCarthy seen as too anti-war Humphrey pro-civil rights, but seen as too supporting of LBJ’s war policies. During Democratic National Convention in Chicago, thousands protested war effort. – Chicago riot police beat protestors, reporters, civilians on live tv. Humphrey nominated, but Democratic Party torn apart, anti-war movement gained support.
Republicans: – Richard Nixon was easily nominated. – Very law & order, had “secret plan” to end Vietnam War. – Nixon stayed above campaign, let VP candidate Spiro Agnew do name calling. American Independent Party: – George C. Wallace. – Pro-war, anti-communist, anti-hippie, represented blue collar southerners. – Shot while campaigning. Nixon barely won popular vote, easily won electoral vote.
Final Years of War Before LBJ left office, he started peace negotiations with N. Vietnam. Paris Peace talks came to nothing. When Nixon took office, he began policy of Vietnamization. – Removing US soldiers, replacing them with SV soldiers; turning fighting of war over to S. Vietnam. – By 1972, only 24,000 troops in Vietnam, from high of 568,000. Nixon also ordered bombings of Hanoi, VC bases in Cambodia. – Sent SV & US troops into Cambodia. – Led to civil war in Cambodia, more protests in USA.
Nixon campaigned on law & order, stop violent protests that majority of USA opposed. 1969-Part of SDS split off, formed Weathermen, began campaign of violence. – Riots in streets, letter bombs, attempted assassinations. Majority of US opposed violence, protests, hippies. – Never got press coverage, called silent majority. – Nixon appealed to them, wanted him to bring order back to USA.
Protests peaked in 1970. Kent State U. in Ohio; students tore up business district, burned down ROTC building on campus. – Governor ordered National Guard in; students threw rocks, Guard threw tear gas. – Guards opened fire (first?), four killed, nine wounded. – Known as Kent State Massacre. Jackson State in Mississippi, students rioted, cops came in, two killed, eleven wounded.
Paris peace talks continued, still nothing. 1972-NV began big attack on SV; Nixon increased bombing of Hanoi, mined NV harbors. Jan. 1973, right after Nixon began 2 nd term, peace agreement signed. – US would pull out all forces within 60 days. – All POWs released. – All military activity on both sides would end in Laos, Cambodia. – 17 th Parallel would continue to divide NV &SV.
After US pulled out, NV re-invaded, quickly began defeating SV. Spring 1975-NV surrounded Saigon. – US evacuated 1,000 Americans, 6,000 S. Vietnamese out of SV before Saigon fell. April 30, 1975-S. Vietnam surrendered, Vietnam reunited under Communism. – Nixon begged Congress to go back in, Congress refused. After Vietnam, Cambodia fell to Communist Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot. – Killed 1.5 million Cambodians, 25% of population. About 2 million Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians fled to US, known as “boat people”.
Results of Vietnam 58,000 US dead, 300,000 wounded, 2,500 listed as POW & MIA. – Many have never come home. – No victory parades, no celebrations for returning troops. War cost US $150 billion. Millions of Vietnamese dead. 1979-Veterans groups began raising funds to build memorial. – Designed by 21-year old Maya Ling Lin. Vietnam Wall completed in 1982.