Meta-notes: via as substitution for through and sans as a substitution for without are awesome, scientific notation (250=2.5E2) rocks, lists separated/by/slashes awkward but allow me to use commas to separate event components, YYYY Mon DD format is fun.

Vietnam War began due to containment, in 1954 when Ho Chi Minh’s communists took North Vietnam from French colonialists JFK called Vietnam barrier to spread of communism throughout southeast Asia. Sec’y of Defense Robert McNamara said losing Vietnam would change world.

JFK had increased # of military advisers & special forces in south Vietnam, LBJ made first decision to engage in war. LBJ wanted to stay course, avoid losing in 1964 Nov. S Vietnamese conditions worsened thru winter, spring, advisers planned bombing campaign, found pretext in attacks on 2 USA destroyers by N Vietnamese patrols in Gulf of Tonkin, 2nd attack completely fake, used as pretext for airstrikes. Congress passed 1964 Apr 7 Gulf of Tonkin resolution giving LBJ authority to do anything necessary to protect USA troops & prevent further aggression, only 2 opposing, Wayne Morse (R-Oregon) called it pre-dated declaration of war. LBJ ran antiwar! campaign. Saigon seemed near-collapse, worrying advisors.

1965 Feb 7 LBJ admins able to escalate b/c Vietcong suicide bombers killed 7 wounded 100 @ USA base. Operation Rolling Thunder bombing N Vietnam by air authorized wk later. LBJ dishonest about deployment rate, claimed 2 Marines battalions sent to Danang as guards, 6wk later 5E4 deployed, 1965 Nov 1.65E5 deployed. War of Attrition strategy used b/c USA thought bombings would exhaust N Vietnam resources while USA defeated Vietcong in S Vietnam & stabilized region. However, USA devastated S Vietnam population & ecology via search-and-destroy missions, made 4E6 (0.25 gen pop) Vietnamese refugees while trying to find Vietcong sympathizers. Late 1968 USA’d used >3E6 tons of bombs (> 3*WWII Allied use). Chemical warfare (Agent Orange defoliants+) most destructive historically.

LBJ ignored pro-transparency advisers suggesting declaring state of emergency & enforming USA, worried about losing domestic policy momentum, intentionally decieved media … found self accused of such. In early 60s TV news ignored entirely or followed admin on Vietnam. 1965 Aug Morley Safer of CBS showed Marines setting fire to civilian thatched homes, contradicting admin line about Cam Ne operation attacking fortified Vietcong bunkers. LBJ complained to CBS. Soon, Vietnam heavily covered. TV reports made war hard to justify, covering destructive cluster bombs, defoliants, soaring USA death rate. Democrats put aside LBJ to pass Congressional resolution asking UN to end hostilities. War cost ~$ 2.1E10/yr, huge tax raises & inflation.

Much of Vietnam skepticism became generational (1965-1971). 60s generation combined antiwar protest w/general critique of USA, used music/dress to express values difference from parents. Starting ~1967 flower children put daisies in rifle barrels of troops monitoring antiwar protests, campus orgs demanded immediate unconditional withdrawal of troops.

UC Berkley FSM activists got back from 1964 Freedom Summer, told by campus admins no info booths here, 18 orgs across political spectrum protested, police told to break up protest, Berkeley president Clark Kerr made to press charges, 1E3 students protested in sit-in, 8E2 arrested. Mario Savio called for more student control of colleges, objected to in loco parentis power. Others sought counterculture, had 1967 Summer of Love in SF Haight-Ashbury district, 7.5E4 wore tie-dye shirts & bell-bottoms, heard music, took drugs. Sexual revolution occurred in part due to widespread contraceptive availability, premarital sex became more common & open. LSD use frequent (not illegal until 1968), as was marijuana use. Rock music used to express generational identity. Make Love, Not War slogan unified generational tensions and antiwar sentiment. Woodstock Music Festival (1969 Aug, 4E7 attendees) considered exemplar of counterculture.

1965 March: activists called for boycotting classes for a day for students/faculty to discuss war. Students requested end to military-linked research on campus. Dow Chemical Company (napalm manufacturers) sent recruiters to UW Madison despite warnings about protesters, sit-in surrounded interview site, 2E3 watched, police ordered to disperse crowd, dragged & clubbed students, when campus erupted they used tear gas & Mace. Peace movement grew (3E5 in Central Park 1967 Apr, creation of Vietnam Veterans Against the War), some politicians called for charging antiwar leaders w/treason, Secretary of State Dean Rusk claimed protests would make Hanoi think USA indecisive & prolong war.

Protesters turned to civil disobedience (burning draft cards, refusing induction, 2 priests destroyed regional draft board records), some went beyond and planted bombs (43 died).

Draftees caught in combination of USA-Vietnam conflict & young citizen-government conflict. Avg soldier age ~19, Selective Service/draft deferred college students & those in certain jobs while heavily recruiting in poorer minority neighborhoods, HS dropouts most likely to serve & most likely to die given service, African-Americans had especially high death rate, GIs used marijuana, rock music, psychedelic posters, sexual revolution, saw antiwar protests as priviledge, by 1971 they wore peace signs on helmets, had antiwar demonstrations & Armed Farces Day, some intentionally harmed reckless commanders, African-Americans often called it a white man’s war & wore slogans on helmets. Discontent caused in part by S Vietnamese protests, jungle booby trap losses contradicting tales of victory & S Vietnamese gratitude. Veterans returned to lack of respect/gratitude, high PTSD, substance abuse, physical disability rates, high unemployment.

Civil rights movement antipoverty, LBJ started War on Poverty, Great Society. 1964 Aug Economic Opportunity Act created Office of Economic Opportunity to provide education/job opportunities to poor, Job Corps taught mostly outdated skills, Neighborhood Youth Corps created 2E6 low-paying dead-end jobs for youth, Volunteers In Service To America brought >1E3 volunteers to poor areas, Community Action Program mandated local participation in antipoverty leading to allocation conflicts, Legal Services Program provided legal aid, Head Start & Follow Through funded education, Comprehensive Community Health Centers helped uninsured, Upward Bound developed college readiness, contraceptives distributed. Root (power/wealth imbalance) causes of poverty not addressed (no reallocation), 0.75 social welfare spending went to nonpoor (via Social Security, Medicare, unemployment).

Inner cities allowed to deteriorate, revitalization programs sliced poor neighborhoods w/highways, demolished them for offices, focused on middle-class homes, drove African-Americans out of cities. Black employment twice general, proportion of African-Americans w/low-paying service sector work rose, migration from Deep South to cities grew, decaying inner cities w/little work majority African-American. Long, hot summers 1964-1968 had urban uprisings against white domination & police brutality. 1st occurred in LA’s Watts: 1/3 unemployed, closest hospital 12 mi away, minor arrest started uprising, storefronts destroyed, 5E4 attended, 2E4 National Guard sent in, after 6 days 34 dead 9E2 injured 4E3 arrested. LA police chief blamed civil rights movement, mayor blamed communists, media reported police had called region charcoal alley and nightsticks “n***er knockers. More uprisings in SF, Milwaukee, Dayton, Cleveland, Newark, Detroit. 1967 Jul LBJ created National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders run by IL governor Otto Kerner to investigate uprisings’ causes, commission foundwhite racism" created explosive mixture of poverty+police brutality, warned that our nation is moving towards two different societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal, this ignored, as was advice to fund housing/jobs/antisegregation. Escalating Vietnam costs left little $ for this.

In addition to USA & Vietnam turmoil in 1968, 1E3’s of anti-government worker & student protesters barricaded French streets, Prague Spring of liberal Czechoslovakian reforms followed by invasion by Eastern Bloc, 3E2 people killed in Tlatelolco section of Mexico City when government tanks & armored cars broke up student demonstrations, Mao’s Cultural Revolution began.

Tet Offensive occurred 1968 Jan 30, Vietcong pushed as far south as Saigon’s USA embassy, USA stopped it w/1E3 dead 8E3 wounded, N Vietnamese had 4E4 (0.2 all forces) die, >1E4 civilian deaths, ~1E6 S Vietnamese refugees. Weakened USA resolve (images of people shooting through embassy windows, lovely city of Hue destroyed, We had to destroy [the village], in order to save it.) despite eventual victory, USA majority strongly opposed war, Rome/Berlin/Paris/London crowds protested, LBJ polled really low, withdrew from 1968 campaign & refused to be nominated.

MLK had been harassed/surveilled by government for a while, concerned about Vietnam War since 1965, became more outspoken against war, spoke to striking sanitation workers in Memphis TN 1968 Apr 3, gave message of hope, killed next day. Crowds turned out to mourn & demonstrate on military bases/>1E2 cities/college campuses, many killed by police.

Democrats in disarray, Robert F Kennedy (NY Senator) who saw war as mirroring domestic injustices and had lots of minority support and Eugene McCarthy (MN Senator) witty philosopher had lots of antiwar student support, Kennedy won nomination but was assassinated 1968 Jun 4, VP Hubert H Humphrey sole candidate for nomination, courted pro-war & King-Kennedy antiwar Democrats, worked w/Democrat power brokers, won nomination before delegates met.

Democratic National Convention in Chicago 1968 Aug 21-26, mayor Richard Daley would not grant antiwar protesters demonstration permits, allegedly sent 100s agitators into protest crowds to encourage violence in order to make retaliation seem necessary. Strategy backfired when officers had police riot: randomly assaulting demonstrators/passerby/TV crews. Daley angered by bad PR & had agents raid McCarthy’s campaign HQ full of antiwar Dems. @ con, Wayne Hays (OH rep) railed against hippies substituting beer for brains … [and] pot [for] patriotism, when peace resolution failed McCarthy supporters wore black armbands & sang We Shall Overcome, tear gas was used against outside protesters & detectable within con, Humphrey praised Daley, LBJ’s war behavior. Daley told protesting Sen. Abraham Ribicoff accusing police of Gestapo tactics You Jew son of a bitch…, go home!, crowd chanted The whole world is watching! (accurate because satellite transmission). Protest spread worldwide.

Republican candidate Richard Nixon built on anti-counterculture attitudes, wooed silent (nonprotesting, patriotic, taxpaying, not haters) majority, claimed to be able to restore law and order, relied on anti-civil-rights-act sentiment & sunbelt & deep south, showed increasing white conservativism. George C Wallace ran independent on pro-segregation platform, won 13% popular vote. Nixon won, promising to bring Americans together again.

Identity politics (Brown/Yellow/Red Power movements drew from Black Power, women’s/gay liberation got media attention) more common as political movements within counterculture starting 1968.

Black Power movement focused around direct action & militant self-defense, advocated by Stokely Carmichael starting 1966, demanded land, bread, housing, education, clothing, and justice, had armed paramilitary style which irritated authorities, monitored local police, ran free school breakfasts, started clinics, taught classes. Police/FBI raids jailed leaders, destroying organization in 1968-1969. Movement itself continued, Rev. Jesse Jackson used Operation Breadbasket to encourage support of Black-run businesses. Focus on identity/history/culture/nationalism common, 3rd World Studies classes demanded w/strikes, Kwanzaa created, people changed names from slave names to traditional African names, Black is Beautiful slogan developed.

1966 Friedan’s Feminine Mystique sparked National Organization for Women lobbying for legislation fully including women in society, anti-sex-discrimination, pro-maternity-leave & government funded day care, backed ERA, wanted unrestricted contraceptives/abortion. Impatient civil rights/SDS/campus antiwar activists formed women’s liberation movement, slogan Sisterhood is Powerful, critiqued patriarchy (male power to dominate institutions from family to business to government to protest movements), NY group stormed Miss America pageant for PR, media focused on most audacious/outrageous acts but they were nonrepresentative sample, had private consciousness-raising meetings, slogan the personal is political embodied how movement assessed power structures in family and marriage, some activists had Newsweek sit-ins while others created domestic violence shelters, health clinics, rape crisis centers, day-care centers, bookstores, Ms. Magazine shipped 1972 Jan, women’s studies programs demanded. However, movement centered white middle-class straight cis women, lesbians found heterosexism & started own groups, African-American women outraged by Stokely Carmichael joking The only position for women in SNCC is prone wary of white women’s appeals to sisterhood, started womanist movement addressing their concerns.

Gay/lesbian community became visible WWII, had Mattachine Society & Daughters of Bilitis campaign against employment/military/social discrimination mid-1950s, late 1960s encouraged gay people to come out, slogan Say It Loud, Gay Is Proud, police raids on gay bars prompted organizing, 1969 Jun 27 NY police raid on Stonewall Inn provoked night-long uprising, Gay Power graffiti filled city next day. NYC Gay Liberation Front called selves revolutionary, antiwar, mimicked other protesters with sit-ins & demonstrations. APA reclassified homosexuality as non-illness 1973, some pro-gay clergy formed network, 1975 ended ban on government employing homosexuals. Gay is Good, pride parades on Stonewall anniversary common.

Chicano movement became prominent when United Farm Workers (primarily migrant laborers) went on strike against San Joaquin grape growers, by 1968 César Cháves & Dolores Huerta led boycott of nonunion grapes&lettuce, Cháves rejected identity politics embraced by urban youth, used slang term Chicano in place of Mexican-American to express nationalism, demanded not just civil rights but recognition of history, called selves la raza (race/people), traced selves to Aztecs, formed Brown Berets, planned blow out(walkout) of 1.5E4 East LA HS students demanding education include their history/language/culture, were arrested, Denver/San Antonio students had Teachers, Sí, Bigots, No placard campaigns & walkouts, lots of art.

Red Power name for American Indian Movement, monitored police, built church/urban center/philanthropic network & powwow circuit. 89 occupied abandoned Alcatraz starting 1969 Nov 20 due to 1868 Sioux treaty granting rights to unused federal property on Indian land, island occupied for 19 months. Did not keep island, did rally community. 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties occupied Bureau of Indian Affairs, visited Pine Ridge Reservation site of Wounded Knee Massacre, demanded treaty rights, put under siege for weeks by FBI, multiple deaths. Lots of literature.

Chinese/Japanese/Filipino students identified as Asian-American starting 1968, Asian American Political Association formed @ UCSF, other groups formed, opposed Vietnam war, protested racism, demanded ethnic studies programs, published literature, demanded repairs & better medical facilities in SF’s Chinatown, Sansei demanded reparations for internment camps, Asian workers unionized, Filipinos opposed USA-backed dictator Ferdinand Marcos, SK students denounced repressive home government, Samoans opposed Pacific island nuclear testing.

Nixon ordered illegal government action against private citizens, improved welfare & environmental protection, intensified Vietnam war, moved towards détente w/PRC, foresaw end of Cold War, not so interested in domestic policy, complained about old values [being] discarded, subsidized housing for poor, supported basic income in place of welfare, accepted liberal econ policy like deficit spending/wage,rent,price freeze for anti-inflation/favoring minority-run contractors, mostly conservative party-line on civil rights, administrated over Apollo 11. Promised peace with honor, war continued for 4 more years, national security adviser Henry A Kissinger at partial fault due to concern about making USA look weak, Nixon+Kissinger overpowered those who realized gen pop opposed war, publicly discussed Vietnamization (letting S Vietnam take over war), privately looked into knockout blow to N Vietnam.

1970 Apr 30 had USA troops invade Cambodia sans Congressional approval, did so with intent to end N Vietnamese infiltration into South, boost reputation as mad bomber. Huge student demonstrations resulted, 1970 May 4 National Guard shot into crowd of unarmed students at Kent State University of Ohio, killing 4 wounding 9, 10 days later @ Jackson State U (MS black school) state troopers entered dormitory & shot wildly killing 2 wounding 12, 50 other campuses demonstrated, 37 college/university presidents signed antiwar letter. Senate passed bipartisan resolution outlawing use of funds for US military ops in Cambodia starting 1970 Jul 1, House rejected, Nixon started to end war. 1971 Feb told S Vietnamese army to invade Laos, cut supply lines, they lost. Enemy got more territory due to 1972 April offensive, Nixon ordered massively destructive mining/bombing of N Vietnam & Cambodia. Kissinger secretly negotiated peace w/N Vietnam in Paris, deal got USA all POWs & withdrew all USA troops, last troops withdrew 1973 Mar. 1975 Apr N Vietnamese took Saigon, communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam controlled nation.

War ended, cost USA 5.8E4 lives & $ 1.5E11, lost USA important outpost, proved they couldn’t maintain containment. War crimes already found, Lt. William L Calley Jr court-martialed for killing ≥22 civilians in My Lai Massacre, his platoon had killed 350 unarmed S Vietnamese & destroyed village, raped&beat many women before killing them, Calley eventually only got 3 yrs house arrest.

Nixon’s non-Vietnam foreign policy mirrored prior Republican moderates who needed not fear appearance of communist sympathies, was able to work w/international foes, détente used to separate China from USSR. Table tennis team visited PRC in 1971 Apr, Kissinger secretly followed later, in 1972 Feb Richard & Pat Nixon flew to China, greeted by foreign minister Zhou Enlai & band playing USA anthem. Increased diplomatic pressure on USSR, weakened Taiwan. Negotiated w/USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev, cooperated on science/tech (including joint space mission), negotiated Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty to reduce proliferation, first post-WWII successful arms control. Kissinger little aid in Arab-Israeli conflicts, though. Secretly, he delivered arms to foreign dictators (including Iran’s shah, Ferdinand Marcos of Phillipines, South African apartheid government), CIA trained Iran’s SAVAK secret police (known for torturing dissidents), supported anti-African National Congress, aided repressive Latin American regimes, destabilized democratically elected socialist government in Chile (funded right-wing parties, launched demonstrations, prepared army for coup), in 1973 Sep military junta killed President Salvator Allende, captured/tortured/murdered >1E3 of his supporters, Nixon&Kissinger warmly welcomed new dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Congress, former agents began to break confidentiality, reports flooded media, USA superpower status continued eroding.

For 1972 reelection campaign staff used dirty tricks (illegal campaign contributions, preventing info leaks, tried to stop publication of Pentagon Papers describing government deception wrt Southeast Asian war, tried to discredit leaker Daniel Ellsberg (even broke into psych records in office), failed). Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) spent money to allege George McGovern supported abortion, LSD, amnesty for draft dodgers, told news that McGovern’s VP Thomas Eagleton had undergone ECT for depression, discrediting him.

Watergate: 1972 Jun 17 security caught CREEP-hired intruders trying to bug DC Watergate apartment/office complex that was Democrat HQ, police arrested 5 for burglary, Nixon denied involvement, reporters Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein traced evidence to him, televised Senate hearings showed attempts to impede investigation: Nixon aide revealed evidence of secret Oval Office recordings, special prosecutor Archibald Cox refused to allow Nixon to withold tapes via executive priviledge, Nixon fired Cox!, called Saturday Night Massacre, 1974 Jun 24 Supreme Court ordered Nixon to give new special prosecutor Leon Jaworski tapes, which showed Nixon raving w/slurs against enemies, ordering federal agencies to harass private citizens, ordering Watergate break-in. Nixon about to be impeached, resigned 1974 Aug 8.