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Vietnam War Timeline

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Vietnam War Timeline: There were four US presidents who served in office during the Vietnam War: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Vietnam War Timeline for Kids
The main events and Vietnam War dates can be seen in the short, history Timeline for kids. The first US combat troops were sent to Vietnam in March 1965 and left in August 1973.

1862: Vietnam became part of the French Empire

1930 Ho Chi Minh helped to form the Indo-Chinese Communist Party

1941 Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam) formed to counter Japanese invasion of Vietnam. Viet Minh was primarily led by Communists.

1945 Japan handed Vietnam to the Viet Minh

1945 In September 1945 Ho Chi Minh declared the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and French troops arrived back in Vietnam

1946: War broke out between the French and the Viet Minh

1949 Communist China was established and allowed the Viet Minh to train in China away from French attacks.

1950 President Truman refused to recognize the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

1954: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (March 13, 1954 – May 7, 1954) ended the French effort to retain Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the Indochina War. The US promised aid worth $100 million to the anti-communists in line with the Communist Containment policy.

1954: April 1954: The Geneva Accords of 1954 were designed to secure peace in Vietnam and organize an interim government in Vietnam to lead to Vietnam’s transition to independence.

1954 April 1954: SEATO was established to contain the spread of Communism by the People's Republic of China and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).

1955 Pro-American Ngo Dinh Diem became President of South Vietnam in October. America agreed to train Diem’s army.

1955 The Vietnam War (November 1, 1955 – April 30, 1975) also known as the Second Indochina War, begins.

1956 Ngo Dinh Diem began to arrest anyone suspected of being in the Viet Minh who responded by starting a campaign of guerrilla warfare in the south.

1959: The first US casualties in Vietnam when American military advisors were killed.

1960: The National Liberation Front (NLF) was formed in Hanoi known as the Vietcong (VC) in the south.

1961 President John F. Kennedy pledged additional aid to South Vietnam

1962 The number of US military advisors in Vietnam increased from 700 to 12,000

1962 Operation Chopper began America's first combat missions against the Vietcong.

1962 The US started to use Agent Orange in chemical warfare

1963 1963 Battle of Ap Bac (December - January 2, 1963) demonstrated the difficulties in waging guerrilla warfare

1963 The 'Buddhist Crisis' started on June 11, 1963 in which Buddhist monks committed suicide by burning themselves to death as a public protest to the persecution by Ngo Dinh Diem government.

1963: The Anti-War Movement in the United States escalates in the 1960's

1963 President Ngo Dinh Diem was killed in a military coup on 2 November 1963. The new leader of South Vietnam, General Khanh, doubted that his own army was strong enough to prevent a communist victory

1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident (August 2, 1964) when the destroyer USS Maddox came under attack by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats.

1964: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed on August 7, 1964 in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident

1964 Battle of Bien Hoa (November 1, 1964) when North Vietnamese bombed a large airfield and US military headquarters leading to escalation of the conflict to defend US aircraft and personnel stationed in the south

1965 ‘Operation Rolling Thunder’ started. The first US combat troops were sent to Vietnam in March 1965 and by the end of the year 200,000 US troops had joined the conflict. The first major conventional clash between USA and NVA was at Ia Drang

1965: Battle of Ba Gia (May 29, 1965)

1965: Battle of Dong Xoai (June 10, 1965)

1965 Code name Arc Light Operations (June 18, 1965 - August 18, 1973) in which overwhelming aerial raids of B-52 Stratofortresses were launched against enemy positions in Southeast Asia.

1965: Battle of Ia Drang Valley (November 14, 1965 – November 18, 1965)

1965 Students at American Universities started to strongly protest against the US policy in Vietnam

1966: The Bombing of Hanoi begins on June 29, 1966. By 1966, 400,000 US troops were in Vietnam

1967: Nguyen Van Thieu became President of South Vietnam

1967: Operation Cedar Falls. The Iron Triangle of Vietcong tunnels is discovered

1968: The CIA started Operation Phoenix, arresting, interrogating and killing suspected Viet Cong activists.

1968 The Tet Offensive began on January 31, 1968, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces consisting of a coordinated series of fierce attacks on more than 100 North Vietnamese cities and towns.

1968: Capture of the USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence ship by North Korea Jan 23, 1968

1968: Battle of Khe Sanh (January 21, 1968 – July 9, 1968)

1968 Battle of Hue (January 30, 1968 – March 3, 1968)

1968 The My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968 involving the mass killing by US troops of between 347-504 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians.

1968: Battle of Dong Ha (April 30-May 2, 1968)

1968 November 1, 1968: The US launched the Accelerated Pacification Campaign on November 1, 1968, with an objective of expanding government control over 1,200 villages controlled by the Vietcong.

1969 Operation Breakfast. President Nixon authorizes the covert bombing of Cambodia in an attempt to destroy supply routes.

1969 By April 1969 US troop deployment reaches highest point numbering 543,000. At this point President Nixon adopted the policy of Vietnamization and began US troop withdrawal on May 14, 1969.

1969 The Battle of Hamburger Hill (May 10 - May 20 1969). Hamburger Hill was the nickname for the Dong Ap Bia mountain in South Vietnam.

1969: Ho Chi Minh died on September 2, 1969 at the age of seventy-nine years old

1969: Details of the My Lai massacre were made public in November 1969.

1970 On April 30, 1970 President Nixon extends the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the need to draft 150,000 more U.S. soldiers for the expansion of the war effort. US and South Vietnamese forces cross the Cambodian border to get at enemy bases.

1970 There were large scale anti-war demonstrations throughout USA. Four student demonstrators were shot dead during the Kent State University Shooting by Ohio National Guardsmen on May 4, 1970

1970: Secret peace talks were held in Paris

1971 Publication of the Pentagon Papers in the summer of 1971. The Pentagon Papers was the name given to a secret Department of Defense study of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967

1971 Lt. William Calley was convicted of murder at My Lai and jailed.

1972: The Easter Offensive began on March 30, 1972.

1972: Battle of Loc Ninh (4–7 April 1972)

1972: Battle of An Loc (April 13 and July 11, 1972) an important part of the North Vietnamese Eastertide Offensive

1973: The Paris Peace Accords was signed on January 27, 1973 including a ceasefire agreement heralds the End of the Vietnam War.

1973 Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973

1975 The North Vietnamese Army capture Saigon on April 30, 1975 and President Nguyen Van Theu's South Vietnamese government surrenders to the Communists, marking the end of the war.

1975: In May 1975 the Battle on Koh Tang in Cambodia was officially the last American battle of the Vietnam War. It was the only time Americans battled against the Khmer Rouge.

1976 North and South Vietnam were reunified and large scale resettlement programs began

By the end of the conflict more than 3 million people, including 58,307 Americans, were killed in the War. More than half of those killed were Vietnamese civilians.

US American History
1945-1993: Cold War Era

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