U.S. Military Tactics in Vietnam 5. september 2014
Colonel Gregory Daddis talked about U.S. military strategy during the Vietnam War. Focusing on the leadership of General William Westmoreland, Colonel Daddis argued that the general’s ideas were conceptually sound, but his inability to implement them led to failures in the unfamiliar battleground of South Vietnam. The New York Military Affairs Symposium hosted this event.
Book Discussion on I Heard My Country Calling
2014 MAY 21
Former Senator James Webb (D-VA) talked about his book, I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir, in which he recounts his early life as the son of a career military officer, and how it shaped his political career. A Naval Academy graduate, Senator Webb was a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam, where he received numerous awards for his service. He spoke at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
2014 AUGUST 5
Causes of the Vietnam War
Veterans and critics of the Vietnam War debated the necessity, legality, and legacy of the conflict.
AUGUST 2, 1964
Universal Newsreel on Gulf of Tonkin
This Universal Newsreel segment highlighted the U.S. response to an incident between the North Vietnamese Navy and the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin, located off the coast of northern Vietnam and southern China.
JULY 31, 1963
1963 Film The U.S. Army Unit Advisor in Vietnam
This 1963 U.S. Army educational film featured 34-year-old Captain William Johnston and his advisory work with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam from May 1962 to April 1963. American advisers like Johnston aided South Vietnam in its war against communist North Vietnam before President Johnson and Congress paved the way for escalating American involvement with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; signed by President Johnson on August 10, 1964.
2014 JULY 22
Book Discussion on The Latehomecomer
Kao Kalia Yang talked about her book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, in which she shares her family’s experience of living in a refugee camp in Thailand before resettling in the United States. The Hmong fought against communism in Laos during the Vietnam War. They were allied with the Kingdom of Laos forces and the United States. After the Communist victory in 1975, the political movement known as the Pathet Lao responded with a campaign of near genocide, killing an estimated 100,000 of 400,000 Hmong. Many fled to Western countries like the U.S. Saint Paul, Minnesota, had the largest Hmong population per capita in the U.S.
JULY 7, 2014
Gulf of Tonkin Documents
Thomas Blanton toured the National Security Archive at the George Washington University and talked about declassified documents related to the Gulf of Tonkin incidents of August 1964. Director Blanton said that we know much more now about the events that led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and escalation of the Vietnam War than policy makers knew at the time.
Book Discussion on Vietnam: The Real War. Nov 15, 2013. Santiago Lyon, Peter Arnett, Nick Ut, and Julie Jacobson talked about the book Vietnam: The Real War – A Photographic History by the Associated Press and the state of war photography today. The book includes 300 photographs by 50 AP photographers. The participants spoke at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California.
President Richard Nixon Tape Recordings. Jul 13, 2013
Challenges of the Vietnam War: Feb 21, 2013. Panelists talked about reasons the U.S. lost the Vietnam War, including decisions made by military leadership. This panel was hosted by the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Reserve Officers Association.
Book Discussion on In Buddha’s Company. Oct 2, 2012. Richard Ruth was interviewed about his book, In Buddha’s Company: Thai soldiers in the Vietnam War, about the role of Thailand, and particularly the service of Thai soldiers, in the Vietnam War.
Vietnam Veterans. Sep 24, 2012. George Mason University. Meredith Lair, history professor at George Mason University, spoke to college students about the treatment of soldiers returning from the Vietnam War and looked at the accuracy of accounts of Vietnam Veterans being “spat upon” by anti-war activists. This class is from a course called “Legacies of the Vietnam War” and took place at George Mason University in Virginia. Throughout the lecture she answered questions from students.
Hanoi’s War. Sep 22, 2012. Lien-Hang Nguyen talked about her book, Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam. She responded to questions from members of the audience. This was an event in the History and Biography Pavilion of the 12th annual National Book Festival, held on the National Mall.
Book Discussion on Embers of War. Sep 6, 2012. Cornell University historian Fredrik Logevall talked about the origins of the Vietnam War, which he termed America’s “least popular war.” Beginning with the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference that ended World War I, continuing through a half century of French rule, and on to America’s involvement in Vietnam, he said the war was a story of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation. Logevall is John S. Knight professor of international studies at Cornell University.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ceremony. May 28, 2012. The annual Memorial Day observance held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. included a proclamation to begin the national commemoration of the Vietnam War’s 50th anniversary. President Obama and other dignitaries made remarks. The ceremony, co-hosted by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Park Service, included wreath-layings by patriotic organizations, presentation and retirement of the colors, and music by the U.S. Marine Band and Army Chorus. The invocation included a message from the Reverend Billy Graham. The presidential proclamation was read by Medal of Honor recipient Brian Thacker. Tom Selleck was the master of ceremony. This ceremony marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War and the start of 13 years of commemoration of those who served in that war.
North Vietnamese Strategy During the Vietnam War. Nov 18, 2011. Professor Donald Stoker gave a lecture in his “Strategy and War” course at the U.S. Naval War College in Monterey, California. The course examines the relationship between political goals and the use of military force. During this class he used slides as he talked about North Vietnamese strategy during the Vietnam War.
Book Discussion on Vietnam at War. circ. Jun 4, 2011. Professor Mark Philip Bradley discussed his book, Vietnam at War: The Search for Meaning. This interview was recorded at the University of Chicago.
Defense Department Leadership and the Vietnam War. Apr 10, 2012. Robert McNamara served as defense secretary from 1961 to 1968 under President Kennedy and President Johnson. His leadership during the Vietnam War is the subject of a new book titled McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, 1965-1969. The author, Edward Drea, joined former Defense Secretary Harold Brown and others for a discussion about McNamara and his successor, Clark Clifford.
The Vietnam War Era. Apr 14, 2011. Major Sean Sculley taught a course on American history from the late 19th century to the present at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In this lecture, he focused on the conflicting worldviews during the Vietnam War era.
Vietnam War and the Presidency. Aug 7, 2011. Marvin Kalb and his daughter Deborah Kalb talked about the book they co-authored, Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama. The book details the impact of the loss of the Vietnam War on politics and policy, the role of both the Congress and the president, U.S. involvement in Libya, and the prospects of Defense Department budget cuts. They also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.
Vietnam Anti-War Movement. Oct 21, 2010. Professor David Farber teaches twentieth-century American history at Temple University in Philadelphia. In this lecture to a history class he focused on the origin of the 1960s Vietnam anti-war movement, and his view of how it helped to expand the nation’s democratic process.
Force and Diplomacy in the Vietnam War. Nov 5, 2010. A panel discussion was held on the use of force and diplomacy during the Vietnam War. Mr. Keefer moderated. After the presentations the panelists responded to questions from members of the audience. Harish Mehta spoke on «‘People’s Diplomacy’: The Diplomatic Front of North Vietnam during the War against the United States, 1965-1972»; Stephen Morris spoke on «The Effectiveness of Military Force in Achieving a Desired Diplomatic Outcome in Vietnam: From the Cambodian Incursion to the Easter Offensive, 1970- 1972»; Stephen Randolph spoke on «Turning on Both Sides: The Linebacker II Air Campaign, December 1972»; and Robert McMahon commented. “Fighting While Negotiating: Force and Diplomacy in the Vietnam War” was a panel held September 30, 2010, during the International Conference on: “The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946″1975” by the The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian at their George C. Marshall Conference Center.
1968 Impact of Vietnam War. May 26, 2008. Charles Krohn talked about the events of 1968 with respect to the Vietnam War, including the Tet Offensive & political climate. He also talked about how the Vietnam War has impacted current U.S. policy and his book The Lost Battalion of TET.
Media Coverage of the War in Vietnam and Beyond. Mar 28, 2007. Dorothy Fall talked about her book, Bernard Fall: Memories of a Soldier-Scholar, a book about her husband who began covering Vietnam in 1953 during the French occupation. He continued coverage through the early years of the U.S. involvement there. He was killed in Vietnam in 1967. The other panelists talked about their own memories and experiences with Bernard. They also talked about media coverage of the Vietnam War and the major U.S. wars that followed it, including the current Iraq War. The discussion was moderated by Ron Steinman. Frances Fitzgerald is the author of Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam, which was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Jonathan Schell is the author of The Real War: The Classic Reporting on the Vietnam War.
Reflections on the Vietnam War. Nov 10, 2006. Lewis Sorley spoke about the Vietnam War and the experiences of veterans who had served during the war. Mr. Sorley was the author of A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and the Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam, published by Harcourt Brace.
Book Discussion on The Vietnam War Files. Jan 8, 2004. Mr. Kimball talked about his book, The Vietnam War Files: Uncovering the Secret History of Nixon Era Strategy (University Press of Kansas; November 2003). In the book, the author compared the Nixon administration’s public statements on the war in Vietnam with now declassified government records. Specific issues addressed during this discussion were the idea that Nixon and Kissinger were looking for “peace with honor” in Vietnam, the claim that détente with China and the Soviet Union helped bring an end to the war, the idea that the war was prolonged because of the American anti-war movement and the press, and the argument that Nixon and Kissinger pursued a decent-interval solution for the war. After Mr. Kimball’s presentation, Mr. Patterson commented on the book. Then both men responded to questions from members of the audience.
Myths of the Vietnam War. Oct 21, 2004. Mr. Burkett talked about his book Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History, published by Verity Press Publishing. He is a Vietnam veteran and is the research advisor for a Sinclair Broadcast Group documentary Stolen Honor. He argued, “Every thing that has to do with Vietnam veterans has been negative.” He asserted that the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder among Vietnam veterans has been overstated. He claimed that protests against the war lengthened the war and caused the U.S. to lose. He also discussed the issue of falsification of credentials and military records.
Anti-War Rally. Oct 26, 2002. Protesters gathered across from the Vietnam Veterans’ War Memorial to speak out against the Bush administration and possible military action in Iraq. Musicians also performed on stage in between speakers.
Book Discussion on A Better War: America’s Last Years in Vietnam. Jun 17, 1999. Mr. Sorley talked about his book A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and the Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam, published by Harcourt Brace on June 3, 1999. The book focuses on the second half of the war starting with the arrival of General Abrams through the fall of Saigon. He argued that the war could have been won with more support from Washington. Following his remarks, he answered questions from members of the audience at he Army-Navy Club.