(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War

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The First Indochina War breaks out all over Việt Nam between the French and Vietnamese, including both non-Communist and Communist forces.

On 5 May 1954, the Việt Minh, the Communist forces led by Hồ Chí Minh, hand French troops their worse defeat at Điện Biên Phủ, completely demoralizing the French troops in Việt Nam and the French politicians and diplomats.

On 21 July 1954, the Geneva Agreements end the First Indochina War, temporarily dividing Việt Nam along the 17th parallel into two zones for the two rival military forces: the pro-democracy forces in the south and the Communist Việt Minh in the…

1955-56, Land reform in North Việt Nam reaches its most radical phase as landlords go before "people's tribunals." Meanwhile, in July 1955, Hồ Chí Minh visits Moscow and accepts aid from the Soviet Union, having earlier negotiated in Beijing for…

In 1956-1957, Ngô Đinh Diệm uses emergency powers to crackdown on Việt Minh suspects and other dissidents in South Việt Nam. Meanwhile, Communist insurgent activity in South Việt Nam begins, with the decision to organize thirty-seven armed…

On 20 December 1960, North Việt Nam leaders form the National Liberation Front for South Việt Nam, or Việt Nam Cộng Sản (Vietnamese Communists). The US. and South Vietnamese governments begin to use the contraction, "Việt Cộng" to name…

On 2 November 1963, Ngô Đinh Diệm and his chief aide and brother, Ngô Đinh Nhu, are assassinated in Sài Gòn by Diệm’s own generals in a military coup d'etat, with U.S. approval. Political confusion ensues for the next several years with a…

On 2 August 1964, President Lyndon Johnson charges that the North Vietnamese has attacked American battleships in the Gulf of Tongkin. Five days later, on 7 August 1964, Congress passes the Gulf of Tongkin Resolution authorizing the president to take…

On 2 March 1965, the U.S. Air Force starts Operation Rolling Thunder, the wide-scale American bombardment of North Việt Nam. During the following three-and-a-half years, more than twice as many bombs are dropped over North Việt Nam than were…

On 31 January 1968, during national celebration of the Tết, Lunar New Year, North Việt Nam and the Việt Cộng launch a major offensive on all the main cities and towns of South Việt Nam. The Tết Offensive proves to be a military failure…
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