The Vietnam War
Photos, Music, and Poetry
The Virtual Times Headline News
As civil war erupted in Vietnam in 1960 between the Communist-supported Ho Chi Min of
North Vietnam and the French-supported government of Ngo Dinh Diem, President
Kennedy feared if Vietnam fell to Communism then many other small countries would also
fall to Communism, creating a "Domino Effect." France, unwilling to support a war effort in
Vietnam, turned responsibility for Vietnam over to the United States. If the United States
failed to assume responsibility, the Diem Government would not be able to withstand the
assault from the North.
The Vietnam War (1957-1975) was one of the longest and most In Brief
controversial wars in America's history. Many people in the United
States opposed the war and voiced their opinions by marching in Search for a name
rallies; others showed their discontent in poetry and song. on the Vietnam
Memorial Wall in
As a reporter, you have a responsibility to investigate this Washington, D.C.
The first thing you must do is to determine what prior knowledge you have about Vietnam
and America during the late 60s and early 70s.
how the Vietnam War affected individuals in the United States who served in the
Armed Forces during that era.
how the Vietnam War was reflected in the arts.
that war brings with it a moral responsibility.
The Vietnam War
Seen in Photos, Music, and Poetry
The Virtual Times Headline News
Part A: The Photos
Your mission is to locate two photos from the Vietnam War to use for the first part of this
assignment. Some suggested sites are mentioned below, but you are not required to use
them; you may find your pictures anywhere you like.
George Herring: America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam 1950-1975
Tet Offensive: A Turning Point in the Vietnam War
The Fall of Saigon
A Vietnam Photo Essay
For each of the two photos you located, you need to:
1. Copy and paste the photo into a document (or scan it in) and save it in .rtf format.
(To copy the photo from a web site, hold your cursor over the picture and right click
your mouse. Then click on "copy" or "copy image." Go to your document and paste
2. List the URL from which you obtained the picture, or give your source for the
3. Describe what is happening in each photo; explain how this photo makes you feel.
Your word count for this part should be approximately 50 words.
Part B: The Music and The Poetry
For Part B of this assignment you will complete one option from either Music or Poetry.
Many works of art and literature reflect what is happening in society. During the late 1960s
and early 1970s protest music played a vital role. Consider these songs:
"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"
"Eve of Destruction"
"Born in the USA"
"Give Peace a Chance"
1. Choose one of the songs listed above (or you may choose another Vietnam-
related song), copy and paste the lyrics into a document, and save it in .rtf
format. If possible, locate sites that let you listen to the song, or you may
want to ask relatives from that generation if they have any of the songs.
2. Write your reflection of the song in about 150 words. Also, explain how the
song relates to the Vietnam War.
You have seen how people gave voice and form to what was often unbearable to live with.
In this part of the lesson you will listen to the intense and personal voices of those who
chose poetry as a medium to share their feelings.
You are to choose a "Vietnam" poem that speaks powerfully to you, one that
contains a kind of emotional power. It should not be a poem that was first written as
song lyrics. You may find your own sites, or use these:
Sound of Whirling Blades - Poems and Reflections
Vietnam War Poetry
Poetry of the Vietnam War
At this point you need to choose one of the following options:
1. Copy the poem to a document saved in .rtf format and list the URL where
you found the poem. In approximately 100 words, explain what the poem
means and why you chose it. You need to reveal why the poem "spoke" to
2. Print the poem and make a clear audio recording of it. You must read it
expressively. Mention the URL where you found the poem.
o You may make a clear audio recording of the poem (such as on a CD)
and mail it (contact your instructor for mailing information). You will
have to submit this statement for this assessment: "I have mailed my
audio recording to my instructor."
o You may record it using the microphone found under the Start Menu
/ Accessories / Entertainment / Sound Recorder (Note: you can record
only 60 seconds using this method, so you may need to select an
important section of the poem). Save your sound file and attach it as
the assessment for this part of the assignment.