Vietnam Smore

Sterling Bissell, Mackenzie Ebeler

#1 Vietnam Vocabulary

  • Cold War- A war dealing with East Germany and West Germany, as well as the iron curtain.
  • Containment- Keeping certain things in and out of one area.
  • DMZ- A couple kilometers wide in which it was a agreement between nations to establish a boundary in Korea.
  • Draft- When the government would bring in soldiers when needed for war.
  • General William Westmoreland- Fought in WWII, and Vietnam War.
  • Ho Chi Minh- Vietnamese Communist Leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
  • Mi Lai Massacre- Mass murder between 347/ 504 unarmed civilians in south Vietnam.
  • National Liberation Front- socialist political party in Algeria.
  • Ngo Dinh Diem- was the leader of Vietnam from 1955 until his assassination in 1963.
  • Pentagon Papers- Secret papers that were stolen from the pentagon that were published in the New York Times in 1971.
  • Tet Offensive- U.S. troops had been in Vietnam for three years before the Tet Offensive, and most of the fighting they had encountered were small skirmishes involving guerilla tactics.
  • Viet Cong- Military branch of the Vietnam Communists
  • Vietminization-


a US government policy of transferring the tasks of fighting and directing the war tothe government and forces of South Vietnam

#2Creating Contex



Pre-Kennedy Era

1954 – French defeated at Dien Bien Phu, Geneva Agreements call for nationwide elections (US abstains).

1955 – South Vietnamese Premiere Ngo Dinh Diem rejects Geneva accords and refuses to participate in elections (with US backing).

Kennedy Era

1960 – John F. Kennedy elected President.

1961 – Kennedy is advised to send combat troops into Vietnam but declines.

1962 – Increase of American advisors from several hundred to several thousand, Strategic Hamlet program initiated.

May 1963 – SecDef conference on Vietnam sets timetable from withdrawal from Vietnam.

Jun 1963 – First self-immolation by Buddhist monk during “Buddhist Crisis”.

Oct 1963 – Kennedy signs NSAM 263, initiating withdrawal of 1,000 men.

Nov 1963 – Premiere Diem and his brother assassinated in successful US-backed coup by South Vietnamese generals, Kennedy assassinated in Dallas.

Post-Kennedy Era

Nov 1963 - Johnson signs NSAM 273, interpreted by some as continuity and by others as leading the way to escalation.

1964 – North Vietnamese patrol boats attack the Maddox. A second reported attack, which almost certainly did not occur, provides LBJ with Congressional approval for war powers in Vietnam. LBJ re-elected in a landslide.

1965 – Bombing of North Vietnam begins, followed by the landing of Marines at Da Nang, later followed by hundreds of thousands of American soldiers.

1966 – More American combat troops arrive in Vietnam.

1968 – Tet offensive by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong highlight the lack of American success. President Johnson announces peace talks, and simultaneously declares that he will not run for re-election. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, both opponents of the war, are assassinated. Richard Nixon elected President.

1969 – President Nixon begins secret bombing of Cambodia.

1970 – As anti-war protests grow in U.S., four students are killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio.

1971 – New York Times publishes the "Pentagon Papers," an internal Department of Defense study of the war commissioned by McNamara.

1973 – American troops leave Vietnam.

#3 Synopsis of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was about how the President at the time which was LBJ; he dispatched US planes into the gulf against the Northern Vietnamese. He did this to promote maintenance and security of global peace. It was also important because it meant that the government backed him up on his decision to send in the planes when the Northern Vietnamese attacked the Tonkin Gulf.

#5 Song Titles of the Vietnam War

Masters of War- Bob Dylan

The Times Are Caught- Bob Dylan

Put A Little Love in Your Heart- Jackie DeShannon

Give Peace a Chance- John Lennon

The Times Are A' Changin- Bob Dylan

Universal Solider- Buffy Sainte Marie

It Better End Soon- Chicago

Revolution- The Beatles

People Got To Be Free- The Rascals

Turn, Turn, Turn- The Byrds

#6 Heros and Villians at My Lai

Hugh Thompson was flying over My Lai when he saw a massacre taking place in the village. He landed and helped the Vietnamese because the violence was not taking place in a time of war. Some people viewed him as a villain because he threatened American soldiers if they opened fire on the Vietnamese civilians, but I think he was a hero because since it was not a time of war, there should have been no violence especially involving civilians.


William Calley was in My Lai when the massacre happened, and was killing people. He watched girls get raped, and mutilated. While all of the old and young were slaughter. He also was leading men to do the same as he did, but he did save innocent children when he could and threw them into a ditch to give him the best chance of survival that he could.