May 4

This Day in History

Vietnam War

May 4, 1961:

Rusk reports on Viet Cong strength

At a press conference, Secretary of State Dean Rusk reports that Viet Cong forces have grown to 12,000 men and that they had killed or kidnapped more than 3,000 persons in 1960. While declaring that the United States would supply South Vietnam with any possible help, he refused to say whether the United States would intervene militarily. At a press conference the next day, President John F. Kennedy said that consideration was being given to the use of United States forces. Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, did eventually commit more than 500,000 American troops to the war.

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