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Nixon and Vietnam.

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Presentation on theme: "Nixon and Vietnam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nixon and Vietnam

2 Nixon and Vietnam 1968—Richard Nixon elected President
Elected as the “peace candidate” Promised “Vietnamization” of the War Continuing to fund South Vietnam But leaving most fighting to Vietnamese By 1972, only 60,000 US troops left But…..

3 Cambodia Neighbor of Vietnam Had been peaceful
Nixon claimed that Vietcong trained there 1969—”secret bombings” of Cambodia begin 1970—full scale invasion Result: War spreads, Cambodia dissolves

4 Cambodia Peaceful country collapses after US attack
Pol Pot & the Khmer Rouge take control in 1975 Genocide kills millions The “Killing Fields” Pol Pot

5 Anti-War Movement in Nixon Years
Invasion of Cambodia spurs mass protest 300,000 attend DC protest in 1970 Jackson State and Kent State Universities Student protesters killed by National Guard Congress Revokes Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1970 Pentagon Papers Published in 1971 Proof that US Government was lying about Vietnam

6 Anti War Protests

7 Kent State Massacre, (May 4, 1970)
4 protesting students killed by National Guard Most Americans supported the Soldiers The War was unpopular, but the anti-war movement was even more unpopular Riots and protests spread to other campuses Many shut down

8 Kent State

9 NYU Students After Kent & Jackson State

10 Jackson State Massacre, (May 14, 1970)
2 students killed by National Guard amidst a protest Poorly reported & mostly forgotten These were black students Phillip Gibbs James Green

11 US Soldiers in Vietnam Disproportionately poor and minority
Viscous, terrifying fighting Declining morale 1 in 6 go AWOL in 1971 89,000 deserters in 1971 “Why are we here?”


13 Public Opinion and the War
By 1964—little opposition By 1967—lots of student opposition By 1970—majority of population opposed Especially among working class Their sons were dying

14 Final Stages November, 1972 December of 1972 January 1973 April 1975
Nixon wins landslide reelection Claims to have “secret peace plan” December of 1972 Christmas bombings Most massive attack on N. Vietnam Still no surrender January 1973 US withdraws after cease fire April 1975 North Vietnam conquers South Vietnam

15 The Fall of Saigon, 1975

16 Results of the Vietnam War
Vietnam unified under communist control US loses 2,000,000 Vietnamese deaths? 55,000 American deaths Vietnamese society & economy destroyed Destruction of Cambodia $150 billion cost to US Hurts economy & kills the “Great Society” Humiliation for US

17 “North Vietnam’s leaders had deserved to win
“North Vietnam’s leaders had deserved to win. South Vietnam’s leaders had deserved to lose. And America’s leaders, for thirty years, had failed the people of the North, the people of the South, and the people of the United States.” --The final paragraph of A.J. Langguth’s “Our Vietnam”

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