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Vietnam. Mr. Giesler American History. Do Now – Describe the term containment. Letter to President Harry Truman, February 16, 1945 DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:

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Vietnam

Vietnam

Mr. Giesler

American History


Vietnam

Do Now –

Describe the term containment


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Letter to President Harry Truman, February 16, 1945

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:

“Our VIETNAM people, as early as 1941, stood by the Allies' side and fought against the Japanese and their associates, the French colonialists. From 1941 to 1945 we fought bitterly, sustained by the patriotism, of our fellow-countrymen and by the promises made by the Allies at YALTA, SAN FRANCISCO and POTSDAM…..But the French Colonialists…have come back, and are waging on us a murderous and pitiless war in order reestablish their domination….. This aggression is contrary to all principles of international law and the pledge made by the Allies during World War II…..It violently contrasts with the firm stand you have taken in your twelve point declaration…..The French aggression on a peace-loving people is a direct menace to world security….It is with this firm conviction that we request of the United Sates as guardians and champions of World Justice to take a decisive step in support of our independence….What we ask has been graciously granted to the Philippines. Like the Philippines our goal is full independence and full cooperation with the UNITED STATES. We will do our best to make this independence and cooperation profitable to the whole world.”

Respectfully Yours,

Ho Chi Minh


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  • What To Expect During This Unit

  • Listen to a few tracks enjoyed by the “Grunts”

  • Dissect Plenty of Primary Sources

  • A lot of video and audio sources

  • Examine the Evolution of American Culture

  • Examine the Vietnam Experience

  • Plenty of Group Work


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K-W-L

TTYN

Refer to notes packet

What I Know

About Vietnam

What I Want to

Learn About Vietnam

What I Learned

About Vietnam


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  • The Origins of the Vietnam War

  • TTYN:Why Vietnam?

  • The expulsion of the Japanese in 1945 led not to independence but a revival of French colonialism

  • Anticommunism rhetoric

  • A logical extension of Cold War policies and assumption


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  • The Origins of the Vietnam War

  • U.S. funneled billions of dollars in aid to bolster French efforts

  • 1954, the U.S., refusing to send in troops and/or use a nuclear bomb in an effort to help the French, France was left with no alternative but to agree to Vietnamese Independence


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  • The Origins of the Vietnam War

  • Victory for Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist forces

  • Geneva Peace Conference divides Vietnam into two districts, with elections in 1956 to unify the country

  • Ngo Dinh Diem – American puppet government


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  • The Origins of the Vietnam War

  • 1960s, the U.S. was committed to the corrupt regime of Diem and the South Vietnamese

  • 1963, U.S. approves a military coup that led to Diem’s death

  • 1963, 17K American Advisors in S. Vietnam


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The Key Personalities of the Vietnam Conflict

John F. Kennedy, President of the United States January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963

Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the United States, November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969

Ho Chi Minh, President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) 19 February 1951 – 2 September 1969

Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense of the United States January 21, 1961 – February 29, 1968


Vietnam

The Key Personalities of the Vietnam Conflict

Walter Cronkite. anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81). 

“The Most Trusted Man in America”

William Westmoreland, American Army General and commander of the US forces deployed in Vietnam between 1964 to 1968


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You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.

--Ho Chi Minh to the French, late 1940s

I must question the wisdom of involvement in Vietnam

--JFK, 1963

We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.

--Lyndon Johnson, Oct. 1964

This is not a jungle war, but a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity.

--Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964


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  • The Gulf of Tonkin Incident

  • August1964, N. Vietnamese vessels perhaps fired upon an American spy ship off its coast

  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed

  • Authorizing the president to take “all necessary measures to repel armed attack”

  • Passed without any discussion of American goals and strategy in Vietnam

  • “I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.” – LBJ


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  • American Escalation

  • 1964 reelection campaign, Johnson insisted he had no intention of sending American troops into Vietnam

  • After reelection, U.S. begins airstrikes and introduce American troops in the south

  • 1966 – 380K troops

  • 1967 – 485K

  • End of 1968 – 540K (peak deployment)


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  • American Escalation

  • America remains quiet

  • Prior to 1968;

  • Support 56%

  • Opposition 28%

  • “Hearts and Minds”


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  • American Escalation

  • “Search and Destroy” missions

  • “Operation Rolling Thunder” 1965-1968

    • Bombs, bombs, and more bombs – American planes dropped more tons of bombs on the small country of North and South Vietnam that both sides used in all of WWII

  • Spread chemicals

  • Napalm


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  • American Escalation

  • TTYN:What does the following quote tell you about the resolve of the North Vietnamese?

“You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” --Ho Chi Minh to the French, late 1940s


Vietnam

  • The Vietcong: The Other Enemy

  • The People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF)

  • Created by the North Vietnamese communists to escalate the armed struggle in South Vietnam.

  • The VC were guerrillas,

  • They wore no uniforms, dressed in the same type of clothing as the local peasants, and blended into the landscape when their mission was complete. 


Vietnam

  • The Vietcong: The Other Enemy

  • The Viet Cong were supported and trained by the government of communist North Vietnam.

  • The Viet Cong tried to create a popular uprising in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War with their 1968 Tet Offensive, but were able to seize control of just a few small districts in the Mekong Delta region


Vietnam

K-W-L

TTYN

Refer to notes packet

What I Know

About Vietnam

What I Want to

Learn About Vietnam

What I Have Learned

So Far About Vietnam


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  • The Tet Offensive

  • Refer to your notes packet


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  • The Tet Offensive

  • Refer to your notes packet


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The Tet Offensive – Turning Point??

  • Summarizing the Tet

  • This military action was a major turning point in the way many Americans perceived the war.

  • On the morning of January 30, 1968, Communist forces in North Vietnam and Vietcong squads in the South took advantage of a truce during Tet (the Vietnamese new year holiday) to launch a massive offensive.


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The Tet Offensive – Turning Point??

  • Summarizing the Tet

  • Major cities and provinces were captured, and heavy fighting ensued.

  • Although turned back by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in a matter of days, the Communists nonetheless claimed a major political and psychological victory.

  • U.S. observers were stunned by the size and coordination of the Communist forces.

  • Declared over April 1, 1968


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  • The Tet Offensive – Turning Point??

  • Public opinion after the Tet Offensive

  • Support41%

  • Opposition42%

  • TTYN: Why did public support for Vietnam shift so dramatically?


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Photo Journalism

Eddie Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken on the streets of Saigon during the Tet Offensive sent shock waves through America


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Photo Journalism


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Photo Journalism

1972 file photo, 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, runs down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack.


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Photo Journalism

TTYN – How did the images below cause a seismic shift in the way Americans interpreted the war?


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  • Cronkite Reports on Vietnam

  • Refer to your notes packet


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  • The Mai Lai Massacre

  • On March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai

  • “This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers.


Vietnam

  • The Mai Lai Massacre

  • As the "search and destroy" mission unfolded, it soon degenerated into the massacre of over 300 apparently unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly.

  • Men were ordered to enter the village firing, though there had been no report of opposing fire.


Vietnam

  • The Mai Lai Massacre

  • According to eyewitness reports offered after the event, several old men were bayoneted, praying women and children were shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl was raped and then killed.

  • According to reports, a group of the villagers, ordered them into a ditch, and mowed them down in a fury of machine gun fire.


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  • McNamara Reflection

  • Refer to your notes packet


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  • The Counter Culture

  • The Antiwar Movement

  • Casualties mount

  • Americans bombs rain down on Vietnam

  • Images and stories hit the front pages and the front porches

  • SNCC and SDS tip the scales (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Students for a Democratic Society)

  • MLK condemns the war and the Johnson Administration

  • By 1967, men were burning their draft cards or fleeing to Canada


Vietnam

  • The Counter Culture

  • Refer to your notes packet

1967, Antiwar demonstrator outside the Pentagon


Vietnam

  • The Counter Culture

  • October of 1967, 100K protestors assemble at Lincoln Memorial

  • By the late 1960s, millions of young people openly rejected the values and behaviors of their elders

  • For the first time in American history, flamboyant rejection of respectable norms in clothing, language, sexual behavior, and drug use became the basis for a mass movement

  • Rallying cry was “Liberation”


Vietnam

  • The Counter Culture

  • What they were after

  • Emphasized the ideal of community

  • Independence from authority

  • The Free individual

  • 1967, The Summer of Love

  • “Give peace a chance”


Vietnam

  • The Weather Underground: The Weatherman

  • Splinter group of SNCC

  • the Weathermen were widely criticized for their use of violence as a means of social and political change.

  • Many accused the group of terrorism, while others accused it of giving all activists, both militant and more mainstream, a bad name.

“ When you feel you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things.” - Brian Flanagan, former Weatherman


Vietnam

  • The Weatherman

  • Refer to your notes packet


Vietnam

  • The Weatherman

  • The Weatherman believed that violent action was a necessary evil in a time of crisis, a last-ditch effort to grab the country’s attention.

  • The Results - a widespread revolt against the status quo: against previously upheld structures of racism, sexism and classism, against the violence of the Vietnam War and America’s interventions abroad.


Vietnam

  • Kent State

  • The Vietnam war heightened awareness and protest, which spread to college campuses

  • In May 1970, Kent State students protesting the bombing of Cambodia by United States military forces


Vietnam

  • Kent State

  • Clashed with Ohio National Guardsmen on the Kent State University campus.

  • Guardsmen shot and killed four students on May 4

  • The Kent State Shootings became the focal point of a nation deeply divided by the Vietnam War.


Vietnam

  • Kent State

  • Refer to your notes packet


Vietnam

  • Kent State

  • TTYN:You Predict. What effect, if any, do you believe that the Kent St. shooting would have on America?

  • The shootings helped convince Americans that the anti-war protestors were not just hippies, drug addicts, or promoters of free

  • Rather than causing a decline in protests, the Kent State Shootings actually escalated protests.

  • Many colleges and universities across the United States cancelled classes and actually closed their doors for the remainder of the academic year in fear of violent protests erupting on their campuses.


Vietnam

  • Woodstock

  • 500,000 people from all over the U.S. traveled to Woodstock

  • Woodstock signaled the merger and ambivalence of the counterculture and protest.

  • The festival was billed as "three days of peace and love," in contrast to the war and hatred in Vietnam.


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  • Woodstock

  • Refer to your notes packet


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Problem -- Spread of Communism: The Vietnam War

Small Group Activity

Solution

Result


Vietnam

K-W-L

TTYN

Refer to notes packet

What I Know

About Vietnam

What I Want to

Learn About Vietnam

What I Have Learned

About Vietnam


Vietnam

In this April 29, 1975 file photo, U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon.


Vietnam

Evacuation of Americans during Operation Frequent Wind, 29th April 1975.


Vietnam

Assessment


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