Changing Views on Vietnam (02:11)
The fear of communism drew America into the Vietnamese conflict. Television images of combat without success turned public opinion against the war, fueled by the counter-culture movement.
Vietnam Conflict Background (03:15)
After Kennedy's assassination, Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin incident to escalate the war. The U.S. misinterpreted Ho Chi Minh's nationalist movement as a communist takeover; Johnson offered him a development deal but he refused to negotiate.
Operation Rolling Thunder (02:02)
Politically unable to invade North Vietnam, the U.S. tried to bomb it into submission. Neither air strikes nor increased troops stopped the North Vietnamese Army from moving through Laos to South Vietnam. Experts discuss the effects of Agent Orange.
Anti-War Movement (02:00)
As more U.S. troops went to Vietnam, public support decreased. Learn about Operation Cedar Falls. Muhammad Ali refused to join the army, encouraging young people to oppose the war.
Protest Generation (02:45)
In 1967, Martin Luther King spoke out against the war. The Monterey pop festival showcased anti-war artists, including Jimi Hendrix. Having learned civil disobedience tactics from the Civil Rights movement, young men burned draft cards.
Tet Offensive (03:17)
Johnson increased troops to 500,000. The Khe Sanh Siege provided a distraction for 84,000 Viet Cong to attack cities and U.S. bases on the Vietnamese New Year. The televised American embassy occupation shattered hopes of winning the war.
Battle of Hue (02:35)
In response to the Tet Offensive, U.S. forces flushed out Viet Cong from southern cities. North Vietnam sent reinforcements. Marine casualties damaged American morale; Ho Chi Minh realized the key to victory was to change U.S. opinion.
First Television War (03:27)
America lost its image of invincibility in the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Hue. Journalists describe the process of combat reporting before the age of satellites.
War Safe Zone (02:23)
Journalists recall the contrast between combat reporting and Saigon's French influenced culture. Requests for more troops resulted in students being drafted—leading to mass demonstrations.
Ho Chi Minh Trail (02:28)
A supply road network connected North and South Vietnam; it was rerouted when the U.S. used Agent Orange to defoliate the canopy. A veteran recalls ambush warfare along the trail.
Guerrilla Strategy (02:43)
U.S. forces were told to inflate body counts. Ho Chi Minh controlled how many fighters he lost and kept casualties below the birth rate, knowing the U.S. would eventually go home. Johnson continued Operation Rolling Thunder.
Draft Dodging (03:41)
Johnson's air strikes targeted the Ho Chi Minh trail. Many African-American draftees thought the enemy was at home while white, middle class students protested conscription. Experts argue that the draft contributed to the U.S. losing the war.
Domestic Unrest (03:14)
Under pressure from the Anti-War and Black Power movements, Johnson decided not to run for election. After Martin Luther King's assassination, riots broke out in U.S. cities.
1968 Presidential Election (02:44)
Vietnamese unification was non-negotiable for Ho Chi Minh; 1968 Paris peace talks were unsuccessful. Hear why Robert Kennedy's assassination led to Nixon's victory.
Covert Cambodia Campaign (03:09)
Nixon promised to withdraw troops from Vietnam, but he targeted the Ho Chi Minh trail in Cambodia and Laos in illegal air strikes. Ho Chi Minh died in 1969; Gen. Giap continued his North Vietnam strategy.
Credits: The TV War (00:46)
Credits: The TV War
For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or firstname.lastname@example.org.