New communist offensive anticipated - HISTORY
Year
1972

New communist offensive anticipated

In continued efforts to disrupt an anticipated communist offensive, a contingent of more than 10,000 South Vietnamese troops begin a sweep 45 miles northwest of Saigon to find and destroy enemy forces. There was much speculation that the North Vietnamese would launch such an offensive around the Tet (Chinese New Year) holiday. Although the communists did not attack during the Tet holiday in early February, in March they launched a massive invasion involving more than 150,000 main force troops and large amounts of tanks and artillery pieces. The battles raged throughout South Vietnam into the fall and resulted in some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Donald Trump is inaugurated

In the culmination of his extraordinary rise to power over a tumultuous election year, Donald John Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States in Washington, D.C.From the time he kicked off his presidential campaign in June 2015 at his namesake Trump Tower in ...read more

Barack Obama is inaugurated

On a freezing day in Washington, D.C., Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Obama had become the first African American to win election to the nation’s highest office the previous ...read more

FDR inaugurated to fourth term

On January 20, 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only president to be elected to three terms in office, is inaugurated to his fourth term.At the height of the Great Depression, Roosevelt, then governor of New York, was elected the 32nd president of the United States. In his ...read more

Terry Waite disappears

On this day, British negotiator Terry Waite disappears while attempting to win freedom for Western hostages held in Lebanon. Waite, special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury, secured the release of missionaries detained in Iran after the Islamic revolution. He also extracted ...read more

John F. Kennedy inaugurated

On January 20, 1961, on the newly renovated east front of the United States Capitol, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States. It was a cold and clear day, and the nation’s capital was covered with a snowfall from the previous night. The ...read more

Hong Kong ceded to the British

During the First Opium War, China cedes the island of Hong Kong to the British with the signing of the Chuenpi Convention, an agreement seeking an end to the first Anglo-Chinese conflict.In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s ...read more

Arafat elected leader of Palestine

Yasser Arafat is elected president of the Palestinian National Council with 88.1 percent of the popular vote, becoming the first democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people in history.Arafat, the founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), originally ...read more

Iran Hostage Crisis ends

Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, ...read more

The Wannsee Conference

On this day, Nazi officials meet to discuss the details of the “Final Solution” of the “Jewish question.”In July 1941, Herman Goering, writing under instructions from Hitler, had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, to submit “as soon as ...read more

Richard Nixon takes office

Richard Nixon is inaugurated as president of the United States and says, “After a period of confrontation [in Vietnam], we are entering an era of negotiation.” Eight years after losing to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 election, Nixon had defeated Hubert H. Humphrey for the ...read more

Ronald Reagan becomes president

Ronald Reagan, former Western movie actor and host of television’s popular “Death Valley Days” is sworn in as the 40th president of the United States.More than any president since the Texas-born Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan’s public image was closely tied to the American West, ...read more

Robert Frost reads at JFK’s inauguration

On this day, 87-year-old Robert Frost recited his poem “The Gift Outright” at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Although Frost had written a new poem for the occasion, titled “Dedication,” faint ink in his typewriter made the words difficult to read, so he recited ...read more

Actress Audrey Hepburn dies

One of America’s most beloved actresses, Audrey Hepburn, dies on this day in 1993, near her home in Lausanne, Switzerland. The 63-year-old Hepburn had undergone surgery for colon cancer the previous November.The daughter of an aristocratic Dutch mother and an English businessman ...read more