THIS DAY IN HISTORY
November 14
1972

Nixon promises Thieu that U.S. will continue to support South Vietnam

One week after his re-election, President Richard Nixon extends to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu his “absolute assurance” that the United States will “take swift and severe retaliatory action” if Hanoi violates the pending cease-fire once it is in place.

Thieu responded with a list of 69 amendments that he wanted added to the peace agreement being worked out in Paris. Nixon instructed Henry Kissinger to present Le Duc Tho, the senior North Vietnamese negotiator in Paris, with Thieu’s amendments. Kissinger protested that the changes were “preposterous” and might destroy chances for the treaty. Despite Kissinger’s concerns, the indication that the peace accords were near completion resulted in the Dow Jones closing above 1,000 for first time. In the end, however, Kissinger was correct and the peace talks became deadlocked and were not resumed until after Nixon ordered the December bombing of North Vietnam.

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