June 24

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Jun 24, 1973:

Martin becomes the U.S. ambassador in Saigon

Graham Martin is sworn in as Ambassador to South Vietnam, replacing Ellsworth Bunker, who had served in that position since April 1967. Martin's instructions were to demonstrate unswerving U.S. support for South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu and thereby restore Thieu's faith in the United States as an ally. Thieu was worried that the United States would abandon South Vietnam when the U.S. forces departed following the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. As it turned out, Thieu's concern was justified. When Congress reduced and then completely halted aid to South Vietnam, the North Vietnamese launched a general offensive in early 1975. Without U.S. support, the South Vietnamese were defeated in less than 55 days. One of the last Americans to leave South Vietnam was Ambassador Martin, who departed Saigon on the morning of April 30, 1975.

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