Vietnam -Overview. Longest war in U.S. history More than 58,000 killed 300,000 wounded 14,000 disabled 800,000 Vietnam veterans diagnosed as having “significant” to “severe” problems of readjustment. Overview. In Vietnam – over 2 million dead
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower to middle class families.
The average age of a soldier was 19.
Most soldiers were drafted – few enlisted.
Soldiers served a “tour of duty” – about 1 year.
7 Presidents made decisions concerning Vietnam.
Music clearly proved how divided the people were in the United States.
Soldiers invented their own vocabulary for the war.
1945 – French return to control Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh – controlled North Vietnam and was sent aid by China.
France – was sent aid by the United States
1950 – Pres. Truman sent $15 million to France to help with war. United States is paying 75%-80% of France’s military cost.
Called Vietnam – the “cornerstone of the free world.”
Gen. Taylor and Vice President Johnson go on “fact finding mission – recommend sending 8,000 combat troops
JFK – will send “advisors” – help the South Vietnam govt.
New Year – 70,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong attack cities in South Vietnam.
Boldest move – 19 VC attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon killed 5 Am. soldiers.
From 1964 to 1973, the North Vietnamese had captured Americans, mostly pilots and crews of downed aircraft, and delivered them to prisons.
1973 – War Powers Act – limits the President’s power to engage troops in undeclared wars.
Must notify Congress within 48 hrs. Of sending troops abroad.
Am. troops may not remain abroad longer than 60 days without congressional approval.
1971 - Constitutional Amendment 26 –
Lowered the voting age from 21 to 18