(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War

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In March 1969, President Richard Nixon begins the policy of "Vietnamization," slowly withdrawing U.S. troops, while building up South Vietnamese troops and beginning to secretly bomb Communist supply lines in Cambodia and Laos.

The United States begins a covert carpet bombing campaign called Operation Menu (18 March 1969—26 May 1970). Although the missions were supposed to take place in South Vietnam, many of the planes crossed over into Cambodia. Such cluster bomb…

In 1971, American and South Vietnamese forces attack Communist sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos, and South Vietnamese forces begin incursions into Laos against the Hồ Chí Minh Trail in Operation Lam Sơn 719 (8 February — 25 March 1971).

Việt Nam invades Cambodia on 25 December 1978 to topple Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime and to expand Việt Nam's regional power. This brings on a new and costly cycle of war for Việt Nam. Although fighting largely ends by 8 January 1979, with…

China, in support of Cambodia, retaliates and attacks Việt Nam at the northern border, starting the Sino-Vietnamese War (17 February-16 March 1979). China's effort fails and the 300,000 ethnic Chinese living in Việt Nam face persecution. Most…

By the end of September, the United States has received approximately 659,000 refugees from Southeast Asia, close to two-thirds of whom entered the U.S. between 1979-82, during the period of the refugee crisis. Vietnamese refugees accounted for about…

Cambodia gains independence from France on 9 November 1953 and becomes the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Facing domestic opposition from the Democratic Party, Norodom Sihanouk abdicates on 2 March 1955.

Norodom Sihanouk becomes prime minister of Cambodia on 15 September 1955 after his political organization, Sangkum, wins 83% of the votes in a national election.

Norodom Suramarit, father of Norodom Sihanouk, becomes King of Cambodia from 3 March 1955 until his death on 3 April 1960.
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