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Vietnam War

Vietnam War

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Vietnam War

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  1. 1965-1975 Vietnam War

  2. America’s Involvement in Vietnam • 30 years of involvement • Five Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon) • 164 billion dollars • 58,132 Americans died / 2 million Vietnamese • 21,000 permanently disabled • 3 million Americans served (avg. age 19) • 100,000 fled U.S. to avoid serving • 830,000 PTSD reports

  3. Our Only Lost War………… • U.S. had the latest military technology • Could not defeat a poorly trained peasant army • Why Not? • Vietnamese fighting for their independence • Very difficult conditions to fight under (enemy, weather, terrain, limited war)

  4. Causes of the Vietnam War • Depends on who you ask…………….. • Americans say: • Stop the spread of communism • Fear of domino theory • Political reasons • Vietnamese say: • Imperialism (western greed) • Desire for independence • Internal civil war (America had no business being there)

  5. History of Vietnam • Nearly 2000 years old • Controlled by outsiders for nearly all its existence (China, France, Japan, France, U.S.) • Wanted their independence from foreign rule

  6. World Map • http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/

  7. IndoChina

  8. Ho Chi Minh (he who enlightens)

  9. France Defeated

  10. Guerilla Warfare breaks out • Civil War breaks out in Vietnam: • Northern Vietnam (Vietminh) Communist • Southern Vietnam (Vietcong) Communist • Southern Vietnam (ARVN) non-communist • U.S. joins forces with ARVN in 1965 • Send 50,000 US soldiers to S.V. • 61% of Americans support the war

  11. War Escalates • 1967: 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam • Death toll at 9,000 Americans • Pres. Johnson promises “victory is near”

  12. Difficult War to Fight • No front lines • Jungle terrain • Landmines, booby traps, underground tunnels, heat, rain, leeches, secret supply routes • Hit-n-run tactics • Difficult to identify the enemy

  13. American support declines • 1967: morale low among soldiers • Public support waivers • Credibility gap growing • Active protests on college campuses • Thousands searching for ways to avoid the draft (ages 18-26)

  14. College Campuses Erupt Kent State Massacre “Four Dead in Ohio” Jeffrey Glenn Miller; 20, shot through the mouth - killed instantly Allison B. Krause; 19, fatal left chest wound - died later that day William Knox Schroeder; 19, fatal chest wound - died almost an hour later in hospital while waiting for surgery Sandra Lee Scheuer; 20, fatal neck wound - died a few minutes later from loss of blood

  15. Anti-War Protests • College campus demonstrations increasing • Musicians singing anti-war songs • Burning draft cards

  16. First Draft Lottery for Vietnam • December 1, 1969 • Those eligible: born between Jan. 1, 1944-Dec. 31, 1950 • First notices sent out to report for physical exams: Jan, 1970

  17. Facts about the Draft • All males living in the U.S. ages 18-26 are required to register with the Selective Service Act • Average age of those drafted was 18 • Once called for service, you are required to be examined for mental, physical, and moral fitness (see handout)

  18. How does the Lottery work? • 366 balls representing every possible birthday from January 1 to December 30 are put into a capsule • The balls are drawn, one at a time, and an order for calling men to the induction process is established. (Ex. If September 14 is drawn first, those men born on 9-14 would have draft number 1.

  19. Check out this website • http://www.sss.gov/lotter1.htm

  20. Conscientious Objectors • One who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles • Still must register and if drafted, can file a claim for exemption from military service • Must appear before a local draft board and explain his beliefs (in both written and oral form)

  21. Reasons for Deferments • College enrollment (full time student, making satisfactory progress. Could continue to enroll until too old to be drafted • Enlisting in National Guard • Conscientious objector • Medical condition (1971: changed college student deferment to end of semester)

  22. Draft Dodgers • Cassius Clay • Converted to Islam 1964 • Refused to serve in draft • Arrested/found guilty / sentenced to 5 years prison • Conviction overturned • Stripped of his boxing title • Didn’t fight again for 4 years

  23. Who got drafted? • Vast majority of draftees were poor, undereducated, urban, blue-collar workers or unemployed • African Americans made up about 13% of the U.S. population but accounted for 20% of the combat related deaths • “We have been repeatedly faced with a cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same school room.” –Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam (MLK, Jr.)

  24. Vietnam Troop Levels • Vietnam Troop Levels
Source: Congressional Quarterlies • 1960 900 • 1961 3,200 • 1962 11,300 • 1963 16,300 • 1964 23,300 • 1965 184,300 • 1966 385,300 • 1967 485,600 • 1968 536,100 • 1969 475,200 • 1970 334,600 • 1971 156,800 • 1972 24,200 • By 1972, an estimated 70,000 draft evaders
and deserters were living in Canada

  25. 1968: Peak Year of U.S. Involvement • Jan. 30, 1968: The Tet Offensive begins. Vietcong launch an attack on key cities in S.V., 12 Am. Bases, & U.S. Embassy

  26. Results of Tet Offensive • Military victory for U.S. • Psychological defeat for U.S. • Majority of Ams. Oppose the war and want out

  27. Vietnam War Protest Songs • http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-protest-songs-from-the-1960s.php • Country Joe McDonald “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag”

  28. B-52 Planes

  29. Huey Helicoper

  30. Weapons of the Vietnam War • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/trenches/weapons.html

  31. Do you know how the Vietnam War ended? • Do you know who won the Vietnam War? • Did the Domino Theory prove to be true?

  32. Legacies of the Vietnam War • First lost war for U.S. • 58,000 Ams. Killed • Cynical towards Am. Government • Draft abolished • War Powers Act (Congress can call back troops after 90 days) • 1.5 million flee Vietnam (Boat People)