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Bellringer – Day 5. U9T10 – I can describe how the Cold War created tensions within the Western Hemisphere (Cuba, Latin America) U9T11 - I can explain the reasons behind the American entrance into the Vietnam War.

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learning target

U9T10 – I can describe how the Cold War created tensions within the Western Hemisphere (Cuba, Latin America)

U9T11 - I can explain the reasons behind the American entrance into the Vietnam War.

U9T12 – I can describe the major military events that occurred during the Vietnam War (Vietnamization, Mai Lai Massacre, Cambodian invasion, etc)

Learning TArget

background info


Fidel Castro was in power in Cuba and promised to restore people’s rights and freedoms

Once in power, he seized private businesses and made offers to Soviet Union


The French loses control of Vietnam and Vietnam is spread into two sections (like Korea)

North Vietnam is Communist and South is not

Fear that it might spread lead to SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization)

Background Info
kennedy and the cold war

Kennedy also followed the Cold War policies of his predecessors. He continued the nuclear arms buildup begun by Eisenhower. He continued to follow Truman’s practice of containment.

New Strategy: Flexible Response - Strengthening American forces so the nation would have options other than nuclear weapons in times of crisis

Kennedy and the Cold War
the bay of pigs invasion

Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959 after a two year guerrilla war against Fulgencia Batista, the U.S. backed dictator of Cuba. As Castro’s followers increased in number, his tactics grew bolder. When his rebel force marched on Havana, Cuba’s capital city, Batista fled the country. On January 9, 1959 Castro entered Havana and declared victory.

  • During his revolt, Castro gained support of many Cubans by promising to restore people’s rights and freedoms. Once in power, however, he followed a more radical course. His government seized private businesses, including American companies on the island of Cuba.
  • In addition, Castro began making anti-American speeches. U.S.-Cuban relations were further strained when the Soviet Union allied with Cuba in February 1960. Eisenhower responded by cutting diplomatic ties with Cuba.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion
what would you do

Speak out against Castro, but refuse to get involved militarily.

  • Begin a direct U.S. military campaign against Castro.
  • Pursue a public relations campaign in Cuba in support of positive U.S.-Cuban relations.
  • Train Cuban exiles to invade the island of Cuba in attempt to overthrow Castro.
What Would You Do?
what really happened bay of pigs invasion
What Really Happened: Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • Kennedy
  • Kennedy learned that the CIA was training troops to invade Cuba and topple Castro.
  • Kennedy was worried about Communism spreading to Latin America.
  • Kennedy gave the go-ahead.
  • The Invasion
  • Bay of Pigs invasion failed.
  • Information was leaked early.
  • Air strikes failed.
  • Castro prepared for a land attack.
  • Invaders were captured and ransomed back to United States.
  • Strengthened Castro’s ties to the Soviet Union
berlin wall
Berlin Wall

Berlin had long been a problem for the Soviet Union. The western half of the city was an island of freedom surrounded by East Germany. In the first half alone, about 200,000 East Germans escaped Communism by slipping past guards to the safety of West Berlin. It was a concern that East Germany might use force to gain control of West Berlin. All agreed that Khrushchev was using Berlin to test America’s will in Europe.

what would you do1

Send military troops to dismantle the wall and open lines between West Berlin and East Germany.

  • Do not get involved militarily, based on the policy of containment.
  • Send 1,500 troops from West Germany to West Berlin.
  • Begin training East Germans to revolt against Khrushchev.
What Would You Do
what really happened berlin wall crisis
What really Happened: Berlin Wall Crisis

Berlin’s Significance

  • Khrushchev demanded that the United States recognize East Germany as an independent Communist nation.
  • West Berlin was an island of freedom.
  • Many East Germans fled to West Germany through Berlin.

The Berlin Wall

  • On August 13, 1961, Khrushchev closed the crossing points between East and West Berlin.
  • A high concrete wall was built to prevent further escapes to freedom.
  • Kennedy sent more troops, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson visited West Berlin.
  • Kennedy said “A wall is a … lot better than a war.”
cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis

U.S. actions in the Bay of Pigs and Berlin Crisis encouraged hard-line leaders in the Soviet Union. They pushed Khrushchev to be more aggressive.

Khrushchev decided to upgrade Cuba’s defenses with aircraft missiles (SAMs) and continued to pump aid into Cuba. The Soviets pointed out that these were defensive weapons because of U.S. nuclear missiles placed in Turkey. Kennedy responded by ordering U-2 spy-plane flights over the island. On August 29, 1962 one of the flights detected the SAMs. The Soviets’ warned that a U.S. attack on Cuba would mean war.

  • Kennedy assembled a group of advisors known as the Ex Comm to help him decide on a response. On October 22 Kennedy went on television to tell Americans about the Soviet threat. As the world nervously watched and waited, several Soviet ships carrying missile parts continued toward Cuba. Khrushchev warned that trying to stop them would mean war. For several days in October 1962 the United States teetered on the brink of nuclear war as Kennedy sought a peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
what would you do2
What Would You Do?
  • Institute a naval blockade around Cuba.
  • Launch an air strike against missile sites.
  • Invade Cuba with U.S. ground troops.
  • Protest, but stay out of the conflict since it has very little violence involved
what really happened cuban missile crisis
What really Happened: Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Kennedy assembled a group of advisors, known as the ExComm, to help him plan a response. Ex Comm military members favored an air strike, perhaps followed by a land invasion of Cuba. Others argued for a naval blockade.
  • Kennedy agreed with the naval blockade.
  • Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the missiles if the United States pledged to never invade Cuba.
  • Both Kennedy and Khrushchev took steps to ease tensions between their countries.
  • The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed, ending atmospheric and underwater testing of nuclear weapons.
vietnam war graph

Use the data here to plot US military advisers and troop involvement on your bar graph

Vietnam War Graph
  • 1959 – 800
  • 1960 – 1,000
  • 1961 – 3,100
  • 1962 – 11,000
  • 1963 – 16,000
  • 1964 – 23,000
  • 1965 – 190,000
  • 1966 – 390,000
  • 1967 – 490,000
  • 1968 – 540,000
  • 1969 – 480,000
  • 1970 – 325,000
  • 1971 – 160,000
  • 1972 – 25,000
  • 1973 - 50

When was the U.S. most involved in the Vietnam War?

Which happened faster: escalation or withdrawal of troops?

vietnam war timeline

For each year on your timeline, you must write:


Significance (summarize!)

I will post a separate ppt for the info on each, include a nice photo, and students can walk through it like learning stations.

Vietnam War Timeline
the anti war movement

Follow along with the lyrics as I play each song.

In your groups, discuss the lyrics to help you determine the grievances held by the anti-war movement.

“Waist Deep…”

“What’s Going On”

“Masters of War” (at 6:06)

“I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die” -

“War Pigs” -

The Anti-War Movement
the anti war movement1

"In view of developments since we entered the fighting in Vietnam, do you think the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam?" -- % saying No (Gallup)

The Anti-War Movement
anti war movement credibility gap
Anti-War Movement: Credibility Gap
  • Prompted by Tet Offensive (1968) and mounting casualties – the war would be much longer than originally thought.
  • Pentagon Papers (1971) revealed a long history of misleading the public
  • Reactions
    • Americans began questioning information coming from the gov’t and their promises of an impending end to the war
anti war movement tv war
Anti-War Movement: TV War
  • View news clips


anti war movement the draft
Anti-War Movement: the Draft
  • 30,000/month drafted
    • Deferment process created criticism -- average age 19, more likely poor, working-class, minority
  • Reactions
    • Burning of draft cards, fleeing the country, protests at draft induction centers
    • “Whitey’s War” – drain on resources and focus needed for domestic issues
anti war movement my lai
Anti-War Movement: My Lai
  • Charlie Company had suffered several casualties at the hands of the VC
  • Entered the village of My Lai on a “search and destroy” mission
  • 300 unarmed men, women, and children were killed
  • Reaction
    • Once became public, raised serious questions about leadership, morale, and discipline in military
anti war movement cambodia
Anti-War Movement: Cambodia
  • Despite promises of Vietnamization, Nixon sent troops into Cambodia
  • Response
    • Protests occurred on over 400 campuses
    • 4 died and 16 were wounded in protests at Kent State University
    • 30 ROTC buildings set on fire
responses to the anti war movement
Responses to the Anti-War Movement
  • Loss of American credibility
  • Encourage communist revolution elsewhere
  • Can’t leave after so much loss of American life
  • Turned off by “extreme” anti-war activists
  • Shouldn’t abandon president during time of national crisis
  • Anti-war message emboldened the enemy and disheartened soldiers