In one of the most horrific incidents of violence against civilians during the Vietnam War, a company of American soldiers brutally killed the majority of the population of the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai in March 1968. Though exact numbers remain unconfirmed, it is believed that as many as 500 people including women, children and the elderly were killed in the My Lai Massacre.. Higher-ranking U.S. Army officers managed to cover up the events of that day for a year before revelations by a soldier who had heard of the massacre sparked a wave of international outrage and led to a special investigation into the matter. In 1970, a U.S. Army board charged 14 officers of crimes related to the events at My Lai; only one was convicted. The brutality of the My Lai killings and the extent of the cover-up exacerbated growing antiwar sentiment on the home front in the United States and further divided the nation over the continuing American presence in Vietnam.