Tet (End of Jan) • A pause in the Vietnam War • Tet = Vietnamese New Year • A week long cease fire agreed on • Doesn’t last • A lot of Media in S. Vietnam to cover it
Tet Offensive Surprise attack launched mainly by the Vietcong • Over 100 cities, U.S. air bases, & U.S. Embassy affected • Lasts around a Month
Results of Tet Offensive • 32,000 Vietcong killed • 3,000 U.S. and S. Vietnamese killed • Looks like a victory for U.S. on the surface
U.S. Leaders Begin to View the War as Unwinnable • Clark Clifford – New Secretary of Defense • His views below • kept private at the time
Public Opinion Towards Vietnam Changes After Tet • People sick of hearing “we’re going to win soon” • People sick of seeing troops dying every day • TV Plays a large role in this • Walter Cronkite – most famous reporter • Political effects • LBJ’s popularity goes down • Before Tet = Most Americans were Hawks • After Tet = Americans were evenly divided
This is a famous picture of a South Vietnamese military official executing a suspected Vietcong operative. It was published throughout the U.S. and influenced some to change their minds on supporting U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
1968 Presidential Campaign • Republicans – Nixon clear favorite • Democrats – 3 person race to start the year • LBJ – incumbent (the favorite) • Eugene McCarthy = little known Senator (the underdog) • Against the war… does well in early primaries • Robert F. Kennedy = former Attorney General (the name) • Decides to run after seeing how well McCarthy does
LBJ Announcements (March) • Both occur on live TV • Nobody knows they are coming • U.S. would begin the process of ending the war • No more escalation, less U.S. troop involvement • He ends his Presidential reelection bid • Endorses his VP (Hubert Humphrey) for the job.
2 Assassinations • MLK Jr. (early April) • riots and violence in lots of cities • Robert Kennedy (early June) • was the leading Democrat candidate by then • had just won California primary • killed by Sirhan Sirhan • Palestinian… angry of RFK’s support for Israel. Sirhan Sirhan was originally sentenced to death. California made death penalty illegal… so it changed to life in prison. Still in jail today. Claims he doesn’t remember killing RFK RFK was killed less than 30 minutes after this picture as he was walking through a kitchen area in the hotel
Democratic Convention in Chicago(August) • Huge Mess! (I’ll explain) • 2 biggest vote getters going into the convention were LBJ and RFK • 2 Candidates remain • Humphrey & McCarthy
Trouble at the Convention • 10,000 Anti-war people gather outside the convention. • want McCarthy (Humphrey wins) • want Dem. Party to promise to end war (doesn’t happen) • Police and National Guard called to “maintain order” • Rioting occurs… police use force • All captured on TV…. Looks really bad • Chicago’s Mayor (Daley) authorizes it all
1968 Election (November) • A lot of the public hated all of the candidates
George Wallace • 3rd Party Candidate • former Alabama Governor • Racist (supported segregation) • Won 5 Southern states in the election • Had limited support in the North
Hubert Humphey • Democrat Candidate • Endorsed by LBJ • Unpopular • Convention was a nightmare • Talked a lot • Really long answers to ?’s Viewed as a puppet for LBJ
Richard Nixon • Republican Candidate • VP under Eisenhower (1952-1960) • Lost 1960 Election to Kennedy • Lost 1962 California Governor election • 2 major issues he ran on • Ending war in Vietnam • Many didn’t believe him • Ending rioting and protests in cities This button was made by those against Nixon