Vietnam War - HISTORY

Vietnam War

Woodstock begins in upstate New York

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, “An Aquarian Exposition,” opens at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in upstate New York. Promoters expected the music festival, modeled after the famous Monterey Pop Festival, to attract up to 200,000 for the weekend, but nearly a half a million people ...read more

Wheeler visits South Vietnam

Gen. Earle Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducts four days of conferences and inspections with U.S. commanders in South Vietnam. This was an effort to assess the progress of the South Vietnamese armed forces and to discuss future strategy. Upon his return to ...read more

Westmoreland to depart South Vietnam

President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the appointment of Gen. William Westmoreland as Army Chief of Staff; Gen. Creighton Abrams replaced him as commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam. Westmoreland had first assumed command of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam in June 1964, ...read more

Weyand reports to Congress

After a weeklong mission to South Vietnam, Gen. Frederick Weyand, U.S. Army Chief of Staff and former Vietnam commander, reports to Congress that South Vietnam cannot survive without additional military aid. Questioned again later by reporters who asked if South Vietnam could ...read more

Westmoreland requests more troops

Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. military commander in Vietnam, sends a new troop request to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Westmoreland stated that he needed 542,588 troops for the war in Vietnam in 1967–an increase of 111,588 men to the number already serving there. In the ...read more

Westmoreland requests 44 battalions

General Westmoreland requests a total of 35 battalions of combat troops, with another nine in reserve. This gave rise to the “44 battalion” debate within the Johnson administration, a discussion of how many U.S. combat troops to commit to the war. Westmoreland felt that the South ...read more

Westmoreland makes controversial remarks

At a news conference in Washington, Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. commander in South Vietnam, causes controversy by saying that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily.” Though ...read more

Westmoreland claims U.S. victory at Dak To

General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, briefs officials at the Pentagon and says that the battle around Dak To was “the beginning of a great defeat for the enemy.”The battle for Dak To began on November 3 when 4,500 U.S. troops from ...read more

Westmoreland becomes Commander of MACV

Gen. William Westmoreland succeeds Gen. Paul Harkins as head of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV). Westmoreland had previously been Harkins’ deputy. Westmoreland’s initial task was to provide military advice and assistance to the government of South Vietnam. ...read more

Westmoreland asks for Marines

General William Westmoreland, commander of Military Assistance Command Vietnam, cables Washington, D.C., to request that two battalions of U.S. Marines be sent to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang.Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, aware of Westmoreland’s plan, disagreed and cabled ...read more

Westmoreland asks for more troops

Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, sends a request for more troops. With nearly 200,000 U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam already, Westmoreland sent Defense Secretary Robert McNamara a message stating that he would need an ...read more

Watergate burglars arrested

Five men are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Senate investigations eventually revealed that President Richard Nixon had been personally involved in the subsequent cover-up of the break-in; additional ...read more

Watergate special prosecutor dismissed

Solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus resign in protest. Cox had conducted a detailed investigation of the Watergate break-in that revealed that the burglary was ...read more

Walt takes command of 3rd Marine Division

Maj. Gen. Lewis Walt takes command of the 3rd Marine Division from Maj. Gen. William Collins. Walt was concurrently named Commander of the III Amphibious Force (III MAF), the first corps-level Marine Corps headquarters in history. As such, Walt was in command of two Marine ...read more

Viet Minh take control in the north

The Viet Minh formally take over Hanoi and control of North Vietnam.The Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh (Vietnam Independence League), or Viet Minh as it would become known to the world, was a Communist front organization founded by Ho Chi Minh in 1941 to organize resistance against ...read more

Viet Cong troops overrun town

Viet Cong forces overrun Cai Be, the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, killing 11 South Vietnamese militiamen, 10 women, and 30 children. On July 31, South Vietnam charged that the enemy troops involved in the attack were North Vietnamese Army regulars and that Chinese communist ...read more

Viet Minh attack French garrison

A force of 40,000 Viet Minh with heavy artillery surround 15,000 French troops at Dien Bien Phu. French General Henri Navarre had positioned these forces 200 miles behind enemy lines in a remote area adjacent to the Laotian border. He hoped to draw the communists into a set-piece ...read more

Viet Cong release U.S. prisoners of war

Three U.S. prisoners of war, two of them African American, are released by the Viet Cong in a ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The three men were turned over to Tom Hayden, a “new left” antiwar activist. U.S. officials in Saigon said that the released prisoners had been ...read more

Viet Cong bomb Brinks Hotel

Two Viet Cong agents disguised as South Vietnamese soldiers leave a car filled with explosives parked at the Brinks Hotel in Saigon. The hotel was housing U.S. officers. Two Americans were killed in the blast and 65 Americans and Vietnamese were injured.Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, ...read more

Viet Cong blow up U.S. barracks

Viet Cong guerrillas blow up the U.S. barracks at Qui Nhon, 75 miles east of Pleiku on the central coast, with a 100-pound explosive charge under the building. A total of 23 U.S. personnel were killed, as well as two Viet Cong. In response to the attack, President Lyndon B. ...read more

Viet Cong attack U.S. Embassy

As part of the Tet Offensive, Viet Cong soldiers attack the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. A 19-man suicide squad seized the U.S. Embassy and held it for six hours until an assault force of U.S. paratroopers landed by helicopter on the building’s roof and routed them.The offensive was ...read more

Viet Cong attack Tan Son Nhut airport

A Viet Cong unit penetrates the 13-mile defense perimeter around Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport and shells the field for over four hours. South Vietnamese and U.S. security guards finally drove off the attackers, killing 18 of them in the process. One U.S. RF-101 reconnaissance ...read more

Viet Cong are successful at Ap Bac

At Ap Bac, a village in the Mekong Delta 50 miles southwest of Saigon, the Viet Cong inflict heavy casualties on a much larger South Vietnamese force.About 2,500 troops of South Vietnam’s 7th Infantry Division–equipped with automatic weapons, armored amphibious personnel ...read more

Vice President Agnew under attack

Vice President Agnew branded reports that he took kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland as “damned lies.” Agnew had taken a lot of heat in the media when he assumed a lead position as Nixon’s point man on Vietnam. He frequently attacked the student protest movement, ...read more

VC launch new offensive

Viet Cong forces launch a new offensive with attacks on 150 cities, towns, and bases, including Da Nang and Hue. The heaviest attacks were aimed at the area adjacent to the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon; an estimated 2,000 Communists attacked Tay Ninh, Quan Loi, Loc Ninh, ...read more

VC repudiates Johnson’s peace overture

For the first time in two months, Viet Cong forces launch a rocket attack on Saigon, killing 18 and wounding 59. Administration officials denounced the attack as a direct repudiation of President Johnson’s speech of August 19, in which he appealed to the North Vietnamese to ...read more

United States widens aerial campaign

Heavy U.S. air attacks that began with an order by President Richard Nixon on May 8 are widened to include more industrial and non-military sites. In 190 strikes, the United States lost one plane but shot down four. The new strikes were part of the ongoing Operation Linebacker, ...read more

United States decides to support Diem

President Eisenhower approves a National Security Council paper titled “Review of U.S. Policy in the Far East.” This paper supported Secretary of State Dulles’ view that the United States should support Diem, while encouraging him to broaden his government and establish more ...read more

U.S. weekly casualty figures hit new low

U.S. weekly casualty figures of five dead and three wounded are the lowest recorded since record keeping began in January 1965. These numbers reflected the fact that there were less than 40,000 American troops left in South Vietnam by this time and very few of these were ...read more