April 13

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Apr 13, 1966:

SCLC passes resolution about South Vietnam

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) adopts a resolution urging that the United States "desist from aiding the military junta against the Buddhists, Catholics, and students, whose efforts to democratize their government are more in consonance with our traditions than the policy of the military oligarchy." This resolution, which had little real impact on administration policies, indicated the growing dissatisfaction among many segments of the American population with President Lyndon B. Johnson's handling of the war in Vietnam.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., had helped establish the SCLC in 1957 to coordinate civil rights protests in the South. King began to speak out against the American involvement in Vietnam in July 1965, and he became increasingly identified with the antiwar movement. He argued that the war diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the black poor. The SCLC resolution was one of the first public pronouncements by King and his followers against U.S. policy in Vietnam, but successive protests by King rapidly alienated President Johnson.

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