1965-1974 Vietnam ~Ho Chi Minh’s communist forces defeated the French in Vietnam in 1954. ~Lyndon B. Johnson made the decision to engage the U.S in a major war in Vietnam, because north Korea was intent on conquering south Korea and extending communism in Asia ~After 2 U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin reported attacks by North Vietnamese patrol boats, the Tonkin gulf resolution was passed. This was the “functional equivalent” of a declaration of war ~When bombing raids on North Vietnam failed to slow Vietcong forces, Johnson chose to escalate U.S. involvement massively ~by November,1965, 165,000 American troops were in Vietnam Vietnam Cont’d ~U.S. strategy, implemented by General William Westmoreland, was based on the premise that continued bombing would eventually exhaust N. Vietnam’s resources ~Ground forces would defeat the Vietcong in S. Vietnam and restore political stability to the pro-western government ~In reality, the war wreaked havoc upon S. Vietnamese society and land, turning approximately a quarter of the population into refugees ~Johnson’s popularity decreased as the war dragged on and the media brought the reality of the war to American citizens ~The war was criticized on televised news reports, by reporters such as Harrison Salisbury, senator J. William Fullbright who wrote “Arrogance of Power”, and America’s most trusted European allies ~The war cost $21 billion a year, causing higher taxes and inflation The sixties generation ~young adults started a counterculture in response to the changing times and anti-war sentiments ~The generational rebellion took many forms, including a revolution in sexual behavior ~Harvard professor Timothy Leary encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out” and advocated the production and distribution of LSD. Psychedelic and other hallucinogenic drugs played a large part in the counterculture ~Music was also a large part of the counterculture. Rock ’N’ Roll represented the generation, in August of 1969 more than 400,000 gathered near Woodstock, NY for a three-day rock concert ~College students organized protests against the war in Vietnam and war- related research on their campuses ~Teenage soldiers, the minority of which were poor and had an average age of only 19, were bitter to fight in another country where they were viewed as invaders ~the soldiers returned home without glory and faced an economy in which finding a job had become extremely difficult Wars On Poverty The Great Society: Johnson’s ambitious reform program, comparable to the New Deal. The Office of Economic Opportunity coordinated federal programs designed to increase opportunities in employment and education. It established community action agencies which encouraged community members to have a direct say on the war on poverty. The Cities: Urban conditions steadily grew worse as those who could afford to move to the suburbs did. Efforts to improve conditions (Title I of the1949 Housing Act) left developments only the middle class could afford. Employment opportunities declined as housing did. This resulted in over 100 urban uprisings between 1964 and 68. At first this prompted badly needed reforms, but the government had little federal money left for antipoverty programs because of The first major uprising Vietnam. located in Watts, L.A., August1965 1968 The Tet Offensive: January 30, 1968, N. Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, ruining the credibility of American officials who had claimed that victory was practically already ours. Johnson’s popularity plummeted and opposition to the war grew stronger. Martin Luther King Jr.: On April 3rd, 1968, King inaugurated a Poor People’s Campaign for peace and justice in Memphis, Tennessee where sanitation workers were striking. The next evening, he was shot on his motel balcony by James Earl Ray. Crowds all over the world mourned King’s death and riots broke out in over 100 cities. The Democratic Campaign: ~NY senator Robert F. Kennedy was the candidate of choice, with a strong record on civil rights and the war as a mirror of the injustice at home ~Kennedy was assassinated by Jordanian Sirhan Sirhan on the day of the California primary ~Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey emerged as the Democratic presidential hopeful ~At the Democratic convention in Chicago, August 21-26, police riots occurred and demonstrated the divisions in the U.S. Movements of the 1960’s Students for a Democratic Society(1962): Organization of college students that became the largest national organization of left-wing white students. Involved members in community- based campaigns against poverty and for citizens’ control of neighborhoods. Also played a prominent role in the campaign to end war in vietnam. Free Speech Movement(1964): Formed at the University of California at Berkeley to protest the banning of on- campus political fund-raising. Students complained that the university had become a “faceless bureaucratic machine” rather than a community of learning. After repeated protests, many large universities gave students more freedom. Anti-Vietnam War Movement(1965): Advocated grass-roots opposition to U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. By 1970, a national mobilization committee organized a demonstration of a half-million protester in Washington D.C. La Raza(1965): A movement of Chicano youth to advance the cultural and political self-determination of Mexican Americans. La Raza included the Brown Berets, which addressed community issues, and regional civil rights groups such as the Crusade for Social Justice, formed in 1965. Black Power(1966): Militant movement that emerged from the civil rights campaigns to advocate independent institutions for African Americans and pride in black culture and African heritage. “Black Power” was coined by Stokely Carmicheal and inspired the formation of the Black Panthers, which was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. American Indian Movement(1968): Organization formed to advance the self-determination of Indian peoples and challenge the authority of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Its most effective tactic was occupation. In Feb.1973, AIM members protesting land and treaty violations occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota until FBI and BIA agents drove them out. Women’s Liberation(1968): Movement of mainly young women that began as a protest of the Miss America Beauty Pageant. Joined by those impatient with the legislative reforms promoted by the National Organization for Women, the group formed “consciousness-raising” groups and women’s studies programs. Asian American Political Alliance(1968): Formed at the University of California at Berkeley, the AAPA was one of the first pan-Asian political organizations to struggle against racial oppression. The AAPA encouraged Asian Americans to claim their own cultural identity and to protest the war against Asian peoples in Vietnam. Gay Liberation(1969): Movement to protest discrimination against homosexuals and lesbians that emerged after the Stonewall Riots in NYC. Unlike earlier organizations which had focused on civil rights, gay liberationists sought to radically change American society and government, both of which they believed were corrupt. The Nixon Presidency ~Nixon won the election of 1968 by appealing to the “Silent Majority”, which he described as “people who are not haters, people who love their country”. His campaign built upon voter hostility towards protesters and the counterculture. ~Henry A. Kissinger was a major force behind Nixon’s prolonging of the war in Vietnam. On April 30th,1970, Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia without seeking congressional approval and the largest series of demonstrations and police-student confrontations ensued. The war continued until January 1973 when North Vietnam and the U.S. signed the Paris Peace agreement. By April 1975 N. Vietnamese troops had captured Saigon and united Vietnam. The war had cost the U.S. $150 billion and 58,000 lives. Truman’s policy of containment had proved impossible to sustain. ~Unlike Vietnam, Nixon was able to greatly improve relations with other communist nations. In February 1972, Nixon and his wife visited China which increased diplomatic pressure on the Soviet Union and weakened the Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan. In Moscow, he offered to sell $1 billion of grain to the Soviets and completed the Salt I negotiations. ~Nixon’s domestic policy included new Social Security benefits, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration. He also took the nation of the gold standard and froze wages, rents, and prices for 90 days to halt inflation caused by Vietnam. On July 21st, 1969, the Nixon administration saw the first man land on the moon. ~Much of Nixon’s foreign policy was unknown to many Americans. This included the delivery of arms to foreign dictators, the training and aiding of SAVAK (the Iranian secret police), and assisting the overthrow of legally elected socialist Saldvador Allende in Chile. ~The Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) enjoyed huge sums of money, much of which was spent on “dirty tricks” designed to divide the Democrats and discredit them in the eyes of the voting public. Watergate ~On June17, 1972, a group hired by CREEP installed listening devices in the Washington D.C. Watergate apartment and office complex where the Democrats were headquartered ~The police arrested the five men who were later found guilty of conspiracy and burglary. Nixon disclaimed any knowledge of the plan. ~a former Nixon aide revealed the existence of secret tape recordings of conversations held in the Oval Office. The tapes documented Nixon’s ravings against his enemies, use of anti-Semitic slurs, and efforts to harass private citizens through federal agencies. They also proved that Nixon had known about Watergate and ordered plans to cover it up. ~Facing impeachment, Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign from office on August 9th,1974.