Battle of Ap Bac:  Vietcong units defeat South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) in Battle of Ap Bac.

President Kennedy Assassinated in Dallas:  Kennedy’s death meant that the problem of how to proceed in Vietnam fell squarely into the lap of his vice president, Lyndon Johnson.

Buddhists Protest Against Diem:  Tensions between Buddhists and the Diem government are further strained as Diem, a Catholic, removes Buddhists from several key government positions and replaces them with Catholics.  Buddhist monks protest Diem’s intolerance for other religions and the measures he takes to silence them.  In a show of protest, Buddhist monks start setting themselves on fire in public places.

Diem Overthrown, Murdered:  With the tacit approval of the United States, operatives within the South Vietnamese military overthrow Diem.  He and his brother Nhu are shot and killed in the aftermath.