Vietnam's largest city, Saigon, was the capital of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. When it fell to the Vietnamese People's Army and the Viet Cong at the end of the Vietnam War, its name was changed to Ho Chi Minh city in honor of the leader of Vietnam's communist movement.
1964 was a key year in the Vietnam War. In August, the United States alleged that one of its ships had been fired on in the Gulf of Tonkin. Although this was not true, it provided the Congress the pretext it needed to authorize full-scale military operations in Southeast Asia.
By the end of 1964, the number of US troops in Vietnam shot up from about 2,000 military advisers to more than 16,500.