1968

A year that became a major turning point in America.

Tet Offensive

January 1968, Vietcong troops attacked a U.S. military based in the northwest city Khe Sanh. After 77 days of firing on the base, the Americans held on to Khe Sanh. Little did Americans know this was just a diversion for more to come. The Communists began their main attacking on January 30, 1968, the beginning for the Vietnamese New Year, the Tet. During the charge 12 U.S. military bases, including the embassy, and over 100 South Vietnam cities were attacked. A number of civilians were left homeless or dead as a result of the rampages by the Vietcong, decreasing their popularity among South Vietnam. The death toll of soldiers during the attacks was greater than 45,000.


This left Americans to try and figure out "What is going on?" Walter Cronkite said it best during his broadcast of the story on CBS Evening News, "I thought we were winning the war! What...is going on?" It did not take long for President Johnson to realize that he was losing the support of the American people. Even people within his administration, like secretary of defense Robert McNamara, began to question his policy in Vietnam. As the year 1968 continued Johnson began to create a plan to leave Vietnam. In March, Johnson made the ultimate decision to not run for re-election after the increasing lack of support he was receiving following the Tet Offensive.


Impact:

The Tet Offensive was a time in which Americans were able to see the true conditions of what was going on in Vietnam. Like Cronkite said, we though we were winning this war. While the public opinion on the war was not very positive, it was after this event where is decreased even more. Not just that, but people started to question Johnson and the policies he was creating for the war.

Democratic Convention

Assassination of Robert Kennedy

Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Election of 1968