Apparently trying to distance himself from Johnson’s policies, Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey announces that, if elected, he would halt the bombing of the North if there was any “evidence, direct or indirect, by deed or word, of communist willingness” to restore the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam.
Humphrey had become his party’s candidate when incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson, devastated by the outcry that accompanied the communist Tet Offensive, had announced that he would not run for re-election. Despite Humphrey’s hopes, many voters saw him as only a continuation of the Johnson approach to the war, which had been marked by escalation and continued stalemate. He was defeated by Richard Nixon, who hinted during the campaign that he had a secret plan to end the war and achieve “peace with honor.”
Also on this day in Vietnam: The 900th US aircraft is shot down over the North and the USS New Jersey, the world’s only active battleship, arrives in Vietnamese waters and begins bombarding the Demilitarized Zone from her station off the Vietnamese coast.