June 8

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Jun 8, 1969:

Nixon and Thieu meet at Midway

President Nixon and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu meet at Midway Island in the Pacific. At the meeting, Nixon announced that 25,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn by the end of August. Nixon and Thieu emphasized that South Vietnamese forces would replace U.S. forces. Along with this announcement of the first U.S. troop withdrawal, Nixon discussed what would become known as "Vietnamization." Under this new policy, Nixon intended to initiate steps to increase the combat capability of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces so that the South Vietnamese would eventually be able to assume full responsibility for the war.

After the initial withdrawal was accomplished in August, 14 more increments departed between late 1969 and 1972. By the time the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, there were only 27,000 U.S. troops left in South Vietnam (down from a high of over 540,000 in April 1969). These remaining personnel were withdrawn in March 1973 in accordance with the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords.

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