Year
1965

United States assails North Vietnamese “aggression”

The U.S. State Department releases a 14,000-word report entitled “Aggression from the North–The Record of North Vietnam’s Campaign to Conquer South Vietnam.” Citing “massive evidence,” including testimony of North Vietnamese soldiers who had defected or been captured in South Vietnam, the document claimed that nearly 20,000 Viet Cong military and technical personnel had entered South Vietnam through the “infiltration pipeline” from the North. The report maintained that the infiltrators remained under military command from Hanoi. The Johnson administration was making the case that the war in Vietnam was not an internal insurgency, but rather an invasion of South Vietnam by North Vietnamese forces. This approach was a calculated ploy by President Lyndon Johnson, who realized that he would have a hard time convincing the American public that the United States should get involved in a civil war–acting to stop the spread of communism by invading North Vietnamese would provide a much better justification for increased U.S. involvement in the conflict.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Leaning Tower needs help

On February 27, 1964, the Italian government announces that it is accepting suggestions on how to save the renowned Leaning Tower of Pisa from collapse. The top of the 180-foot tower was hanging 17 feet south of the base, and studies showed that the tilt was increasing by a ...read more

AIM occupation of Wounded Knee begins

On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, some 200 Sioux Native Americans, led by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), occupy Wounded Knee, the site of the infamous 1890 massacre of 300 Sioux by the U.S. Seventh Cavalry. The AIM members, some of them armed, took 11 ...read more

U.S. aircraft carrier Langley is sunk

On this day, the U.S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier, the Langley, is sunk by Japanese warplanes (with a little help from U.S. destroyers), and all of its 32 aircraft are lost. The Langley was launched in 1912 as the naval collier (coal transport ship) Jupiter. After World War I, ...read more

Diem survives coup attempt

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem survives another coup attempt when Republic of Vietnam Air Force pilots Lieutenants Pham Phu Quoc and Nguyen Van Cu try to kill him and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu by bombing and strafing the presidential palace. Lieutenant Quoc was arrested ...read more

Communist offensive continues

Communist forces shell 30 military installations and nine towns in South Vietnam, in what becomes known as the “Post-Tet Offensive.” U.S. sources in Saigon put American losses in this latest offensive at between 250 and 300, compared with enemy casualties totaling 5,300. South ...read more

U.S. Olympic hockey team beats Soviet Union

On this day in 1960, the underdog U.S. Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviet Union in the semifinals at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. The next day, the U.S. beats Czechoslovakia to win its first-ever Olympic gold medal in hockey. The 1960 U.S. team was led by ...read more

AIM takes Wounded Knee

Angered over a long history of violated treaties, mistreatment, and discrimination, 200 members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupy the tiny hamlet of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Former Sioux and Ojibwa convicts attempting to stop police harassment of Indians in the ...read more

Mine explosion kills 74 in Montana

On this day in 1943, an explosion at the Montana Coal and Iron Company mine kills 74 workers. It was the worst mining disaster in Montana’s history. The small communities of Washoe and Bearcreek, Montana, consisted almost entirely of mine workers and their families. Many of them ...read more

Video recreates the crime

Artie Mitchell is shot to death by his brother Jim in his Corte Madera, California, house. When police responding to a 911 call by Artie’s girlfriend arrived at the house they found Jim wandering aimlessly outside carrying a rifle. Artie had been shot multiple times in the chest ...read more

“Shanghai Communique” issued

As the concluding act of President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to communist China, the president and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai issue a joint statement summarizing their agreements (and disagreements) of the past week. The “Shanghai Communique” set into motion the slow ...read more