August 12

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Aug 12, 1965:

Henry Cabot Lodge sworn in as Ambassador to Vietnam

At the swearing-in ceremony for the new Ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, President Johnson proclaims that the United States would not continue to fight in Vietnam "if its help were not wanted and requested." The appointing of Lodge and the recall of former Ambassador Frederick Nolting, Jr., signaled a change in U.S. policy in South Vietnam. Lodge was a firm believer in the domino theory and when he became convinced that the United States could not win in Vietnam with President Ngo Dinh Diem, he became very critical of Diem's regime in his dispatches back to Washington. Diem was ultimately removed from office and assassinated during a coup by opposition South Vietnamese generals that began on November 1, 1963. Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were assassinated some time after midnight on November 2.

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