September 26

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Sep 26, 1969:

Nixon responds to critics

President Nixon, speaking at a news conference, cites "some progress" in the effort to end the Vietnam War and says, "We're on the right course in Vietnam." Urging the American people to give him the support and time he needed to end the war honorably, Nixon said, "If we have a united front, the enemy will begin to talk [at the negotiating table in Paris]." Nixon branded the attitude of Senator Charles Goodell (R-NY), and others like him in Congress as "defeatist." Goodell had only days before proposed legislation which failed to pass, but would have required the withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of 1970, and barred the use of congressionally appropriated funds after December 1, 1970, for maintaining U.S. military personnel in Vietnam. In response to Nixon's remarks, 24 liberal Democratic congressmen held a private caucus. The group decided to endorse the nationwide protest scheduled for October 15 and agreed to press in Congress for resolutions calling for an end to the war and a withdrawal of U.S. troops; over the next three weeks, there would be 10 such proposals. None of these passed, but they indicated the mounting opposition to "Nixon's war."

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