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Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1968-1969



Despite committing nearly half a million U.S. troops to Vietnam, the U.S. government gradually realized it was an unwinnable war. Meanwhile, protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago were brutally assaulted by police and National Guard troops, and Richard Nixon became president. Public anger erupted over the loss of 46 U.S. troops in the Battle for Hamburger Hill- needless deaths. Nixon decided to "Vietnamize" the war- a euphimism for letting the South Vietnamese go it alone.

March 23, 1968- Pres. Johnson approves only 13,500 more troops, not 206,000

April 30-May 3, 1968- Battle of Dai Do; U.S. "Splendid Bastards" hold DMZ

May 10, 1968- Paris Peace Talks begin; will continue for 5 years, off and on

Aug. 28, 1968- Chicago Dem. National Convention; 800 protestors wounded by cops

Dec. 31, 1968- 495,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam; 30,000 U.S. deaths so far

March 17, 1969- Nixon authorizes Operation Menu, secret bombing of Cambodia

April 30, 1969- Peak U.S. troop numbers at 543,500; 33,641 U.S. deaths to date

May 10-20, 1969- Battle for Hamburger Hill, 46 U.S. lives wasted

June 8, 1969- Pres. Nixon announces "Vietnamization"; first troop withdrawals

Sept 3, 1969- Ho Chi Minh dies of a heart attack, 79 years old

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