October 17

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Oct 17, 1966:

President Johnson goes to Asia

President Johnson leaves Washington for a 17-day trip to seven Asian and Pacific nations and a conference scheduled in Manila.

En route to Manila, Johnson visited New Zealand and Australia; in Melbourne, antiwar demonstrators heckled him. In Manila, he met with other Allied leaders who had forces in South Vietnam and they pledged to withdraw their troops within six months if North Vietnam "withdraws its forces to the North and ceases infiltration of South Vietnam." A communiqué signed by the seven participants (the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Vietnam, Thailand, and the United States) included a four-point "Declaration of Peace" that stressed the need for a "peaceful settlement of the war in Vietnam and for future peace and progress" in the rest of Asia and the Pacific. When the conference concluded on October 26, Johnson flew to South Vietnam for a surprise two-and-a-half hour visit with U.S. troops at Cam Ranh Bay.

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