The Vietnam War

The ongoing and escalating war in Vietnam was the focus of

many of the major protests during the sixties. At the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, United States military forces in Vietnam numbered less than 15,000. Under President Lyndon Johnson the numbers grew dramatically, and by 1966 more than 500,000 troops were deployed in the area. Media reports from overseas became increasingly gruesome, and television transmissions showed the death and destruction created by the relentless bombing campaigns of U.S. forces. The nightly news reports counted the dead, and many major literary and political figures began to speak out openly against keeping U.S. troops in Vietnam. Escalation had not achieved the promised results. On January 30, 1968, the North Vietnam army overran Saigon, making a daring predawn attack on the United States Embassy. On November 30, 1969, newspapers reported that U.S. Army troops had massacred up to six hundred men, women, and children in a remote village called My Lai. Opposition to the war grew from many quarters, as the nation began to take a hard look at the United States' involvement in Vietnam.

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