3 Letter to President Harry Truman, February 16, 1945 DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:“Our VIETNAM people, as early as 1941, stood by the Allies' side and fought against the Japanese and their associates, the French colonialists. From 1941 to 1945 we fought bitterly, sustained by the patriotism, of our fellow-countrymen and by the promises made by the Allies at YALTA, SAN FRANCISCO and POTSDAM…..But the French Colonialists…have come back, and are waging on us a murderous and pitiless war in order reestablish their domination….. This aggression is contrary to all principles of international law and the pledge made by the Allies during World War II…..It violently contrasts with the firm stand you have taken in your twelve point declaration…..The French aggression on a peace-loving people is a direct menace to world security….It is with this firm conviction that we request of the United Sates as guardians and champions of World Justice to take a decisive step in support of our independence….What we ask has been graciously granted to the Philippines. Like the Philippines our goal is full independence and full cooperation with the UNITED STATES. We will do our best to make this independence and cooperation profitable to the whole world.”Respectfully Yours,Ho Chi Minh
4 What To Expect During This Unit Listen to a few tracks enjoyed by the “Grunts”Dissect Plenty of Primary SourcesA lot of video and audio sourcesExamine the Evolution of American CultureExamine the Vietnam ExperiencePlenty of Group Work
5 K-W-L TTYN Refer to notes packet What I Know About Vietnam What I Want toLearn About VietnamWhat I LearnedAbout Vietnam
6 The Origins of the Vietnam War TTYN: Why Vietnam? The expulsion of the Japanese in 1945 led not to independence but a revival of French colonialismAnticommunism rhetoricA logical extension of Cold War policies and assumptionThe Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the final, defining conflict of the First Indochinese War, and led to the Geneva Accords, which divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel into communist North Vietnam and pro-west South Vietnam. Nearly 7,000 French soldiers eventually lost their lives in a "sitting target" battle between November 20, 1953, and May 7, 1954, with the final, decisive siege beginning on March 13. On March 13, 1954, Vo Nguyen Giap launched his offensive. For fifty-six days the Vietminh pushed the French forces back until they only occupied a small area of Dien Bien Phu. Colonel Piroth, the artillery commander, blamed himself for the tactics that had been employed and after telling his fellow officers that he had been "completely dishonoured" committed suicide by pulling the safety pin out of a grenade.The French surrendered on May 7th. French casualties totalled over 7,000 and a further 11,000 soldiers were taken prisoner. The following day the French government announced that it intended to withdraw from Vietnam.
7 The Origins of the Vietnam War U.S. funneled billions of dollars in aid to bolster French efforts1954, the U.S., refusing to send in troops and/or use a nuclear bomb in an effort to help the French, France was left with no alternative but to agree to Vietnamese IndependenceThe Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the final, defining conflict of the First Indochinese War, and led to the Geneva Accords, which divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel into communist North Vietnam and pro-west South Vietnam. Nearly 7,000 French soldiers eventually lost their lives in a "sitting target" battle between November 20, 1953, and May 7, 1954, with the final, decisive siege beginning on March 13. On March 13, 1954, Vo Nguyen Giap launched his offensive. For fifty-six days the Vietminh pushed the French forces back until they only occupied a small area of Dien Bien Phu. Colonel Piroth, the artillery commander, blamed himself for the tactics that had been employed and after telling his fellow officers that he had been "completely dishonoured" committed suicide by pulling the safety pin out of a grenade.The French surrendered on May 7th. French casualties totalled over 7,000 and a further 11,000 soldiers were taken prisoner. The following day the French government announced that it intended to withdraw from Vietnam.
8 The Origins of the Vietnam War Victory for Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist forcesGeneva Peace Conference divides Vietnam into two districts, with elections in 1956 to unify the countryNgo Dinh Diem – American puppet government
9 The Origins of the Vietnam War 1960s, the U.S. was committed to the corrupt regime of Diem and the South Vietnamese1963, U.S. approves a military coup that led to Diem’s death1963, 17K American Advisors in S. Vietnam
10 The Key Personalities of the Vietnam Conflict John F. Kennedy, President of the United States January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the United States, November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969Ho Chi Minh, President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) 19 February 1951 – 2 September 1969Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense of the United States January 21, 1961 – February 29, 1968
11 “The Most Trusted Man in America” The Key Personalities of the Vietnam ConflictWalter Cronkite. anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). “The Most Trusted Man in America”William Westmoreland, American Army General and commander of the US forces deployed in Vietnam between 1964 to 1968
12 You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.--Ho Chi Minh to the French, late 1940sI must question the wisdom of involvement in Vietnam--JFK, 1963We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.--Lyndon Johnson, Oct. 1964This is not a jungle war, but a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity.--Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964
14 The Gulf of Tonkin Incident August1964, N. Vietnamese vessels perhaps fired upon an American spy ship off its coastGulf of Tonkin Resolution passedAuthorizing the president to take “all necessary measures to repel armed attack”Passed without any discussion of American goals and strategy in Vietnam“I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.” – LBJ
15 American Escalation1964 reelection campaign, Johnson insisted he had no intention of sending American troops into VietnamAfter reelection, U.S. begins airstrikes and introduce American troops in the south1966 – 380K troops1967 – 485KEnd of 1968 – 540K (peak deployment)
16 American Escalation America remains quiet Prior to 1968; Support 56% Opposition 28%“Hearts and Minds”
17 American Escalation “Operation Rolling Thunder” 1965-1968 “Search and Destroy” missions“Operation Rolling Thunder”Bombs, bombs, and more bombs – American planes dropped more tons of bombs on the small country of North and South Vietnam that both sides used in all of WWIISpread chemicalsNapalm
18 American EscalationTTYN: What does the following quote tell you about the resolve of the North Vietnamese?“You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” --Ho Chi Minh to the French, late 1940s
19 The Vietcong: The Other Enemy The People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF)Created by the North Vietnamese communists to escalate the armed struggle in South Vietnam.The VC were guerrillas,They wore no uniforms, dressed in the same type of clothing as the local peasants, and blended into the landscape when their mission was complete.
20 The Vietcong: The Other Enemy The Viet Cong were supported and trained by the government of communist North Vietnam.The Viet Cong tried to create a popular uprising in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War with their 1968 Tet Offensive, but were able to seize control of just a few small districts in the Mekong Delta region
21 K-W-L TTYN Refer to notes packet What I Know About Vietnam What I Want toLearn About VietnamWhat I Have LearnedSo Far About Vietnam
24 The Tet Offensive – Turning Point?? Summarizing the TetThis military action was a major turning point in the way many Americans perceived the war.On the morning of January 30, 1968, Communist forces in North Vietnam and Vietcong squads in the South took advantage of a truce during Tet (the Vietnamese new year holiday) to launch a massive offensive.
25 The Tet Offensive – Turning Point?? Summarizing the TetMajor cities and provinces were captured, and heavy fighting ensued.Although turned back by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in a matter of days, the Communists nonetheless claimed a major political and psychological victory.U.S. observers were stunned by the size and coordination of the Communist forces.Declared over April 1, 1968
26 The Tet Offensive – Turning Point?? Public opinion after the Tet OffensiveSupport 41%Opposition 42%TTYN: Why did public support for Vietnam shift so dramatically?
27 Photo JournalismEddie Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken on the streets of Saigon during the Tet Offensive sent shock waves through America
29 Photo Journalism1972 file photo, 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, runs down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack.
30 Photo JournalismTTYN – How did the images below cause a seismic shift in the way Americans interpreted the war?Comment: Trust Factor…Americans were questioning who they could trust. For many, the gov’t was not being honest.
31 Cronkite Reports on Vietnam Refer to your notes packet
32 The Mai Lai MassacreOn March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai“This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers.
33 The Mai Lai MassacreAs the "search and destroy" mission unfolded, it soon degenerated into the massacre of over 300 apparently unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly.Men were ordered to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire.
34 The Mai Lai MassacreAccording to eyewitness reports offered after the event, several old men were bayoneted, praying women and children were shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl was raped and then killed.According to reports, a group of the villagers, ordered them into a ditch, and mowed them down in a fury of machine gun fire.
36 The Counter Culture The Antiwar Movement Casualties mount Americans bombs rain down on VietnamImages and stories hit the front pages and the front porchesSNCC and SDS tip the scales (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Students for a Democratic Society)MLK condemns the war and the Johnson AdministrationBy 1967, men were burning their draft cards or fleeing to Canada
37 1967, Antiwar demonstrator outside the Pentagon The Counter CultureRefer to your notes packet1967, Antiwar demonstrator outside the Pentagon
38 The Counter CultureOctober of 1967, 100K protestors assemble at Lincoln MemorialBy the late 1960s, millions of young people openly rejected the values and behaviors of their eldersFor the first time in American history, flamboyant rejection of respectable norms in clothing, language, sexual behavior, and drug use became the basis for a mass movementRallying cry was “Liberation”
39 The Counter Culture What they were after Emphasized the ideal of communityIndependence from authorityThe Free individual1967, The Summer of Love“Give peace a chance”
40 The Weather Underground: The Weatherman Splinter group of SNCCthe Weathermen were widely criticized for their use of violence as a means of social and political change.Many accused the group of terrorism, while others accused it of giving all activists, both militant and more mainstream, a bad name.“ When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things.” - Brian Flanagan, former Weatherman
42 The WeathermanThe Weatherman believed that violent action was a necessary evil in a time of crisis, a last-ditch effort to grab the country’s attention.The Results - a widespread revolt against the status quo: against previously upheld structures of racism, sexism and classism, against the violence of the Vietnam War and America’s interventions abroad.
43 Kent StateThe Vietnam war heightened awareness and protest, which spread to college campusesIn May 1970, Kent State students protesting the bombing of Cambodia by United States military forces
44 Kent StateClashed with Ohio National Guardsmen on the Kent State University campus.Guardsmen shot and killed four students on May 4The Kent State Shootings became the focal point of a nation deeply divided by the Vietnam War.On May 1, Kent State students held an anti-war protest. That evening several incidents occurred, including rocks and bottles being thrown at police officers, the closure of bars by authorities before normal closing time to reduce alcohol consumption, and the lighting of bonfires. Eventually students, other anti-war activists, and common criminals began to break windows and loot stores; The mayor of Kent, Leroy Satrom, declared a state of emergency on May 2. He requested that Governor James A. Rhodes send the Ohio National Guard to Kent to help maintain order. Rhodes agreed, and the National Guard members began to arrive the evening of May 2. As the soldiers arrived, they found the Reserve Officer Training Corps building at Kent State University in flames. It is unclear who set the building on fire. It may have been anti-war protestors, but it also could have been someone seeking to have the protestors blamed. Interestingly, Kent State officials had already boarded up the ROTC building and were planning to raze it. Protestors were celebrating the buildings destruction as fire fighters arrived. The protestors, which included both students and non students, jeered the fire fighters and even sliced the hoses that the fire fighters were using to extinguish the flames. National Guard members arrived to reestablish order and resorted to tear gas to disperse the protestors.On May 3, approximately one thousand National Guard soldiers were on the Kent State campus. Tensions remained high, and Governor Rhodes further escalated them by accusing the protestors of being un-American. He proclaimed, "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America." Some Kent State students assisted local businesses and the city in cleaning up damage from the previous night's activities, but other students and non students continued to hold protests, further exacerbating the situation. The National Guard continued to break up these demonstrations, including threatening students with bayonets.On May 4, a Monday, classes resumed at Kent State. Anti-war protestors scheduled a rally for noon at the campus. University officials attempted to ban the gathering but proved unsuccessful in their efforts. As the protest began, National Guard members fired tear gas at the demonstrators. Due to wind, the tear gas proved ineffective. Some of the protestors threw the canisters, along with rocks, back at the soldiers. Some of the demonstrators yelled slogans, such as "Pigs off campus!", at the soldiers.
46 Kent StateTTYN: You Predict. What effect, if any, do you believe that the Kent St. shooting would have on America?The shootings helped convince Americans that the anti-war protestors were not just hippies, drug addicts, or promoters of freeRather than causing a decline in protests, the Kent State Shootings actually escalated protests.Many colleges and universities across the United States cancelled classes and actually closed their doors for the remainder of the academic year in fear of violent protests erupting on their campuses.
47 Woodstock 500,000 people from all over the U.S. traveled to Woodstock Woodstock signaled the merger and ambivalence of the counterculture and protest.The festival was billed as "three days of peace and love," in contrast to the war and hatred in Vietnam.
51 Small Group Activity Problem -- Spread of Communism: The Vietnam War SolutionResult
52 K-W-L TTYN Refer to notes packet What I Know About Vietnam What I Want toLearn About VietnamWhat I Have LearnedAbout Vietnam
53 In this April 29, 1975 file photo, U. S In this April 29, 1975 file photo, U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon.
54 Evacuation of Americans during Operation Frequent Wind, 29th April 1975.