Sihanouk Allows Pursuit of Vietcong into Cambodia

North Vietnamese Launch Tet Offensive:  In a show of military might that catches the US military off guard, North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces sweep down upon several key cities and provinces in South Vietnam, including its capital, Saigon.  Within days, American forces turn back the onslaught and recapture most areas.  From a military point of view, Tet is a huge defeat for the Communists but turns out to be a political and psychological victory.  The US military’s assessment of the war is questioned and the “end of the tunnel” seems very far off.


The battle for Hue:  The Battle for Hue wages for 26 days as U.S. and South Vietnamese forces try to recapture the site seized by the Communists during the Tet Offensive.  Previously a religious retreat in the middle of a war zone, Hue was nearly leveled in a battle that left nearly all of its population homeless. Following the U.S. and ARVN victory, mass graves containing the bodies of thousands of people who had been executed during the Communist occupation are discovered.

Westmoreland Requests 206,000 More Troops

My Lai Massacre:  On March 16, the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, America Division entered the village of My Lai.  “This is what you’ve been waiting for — search and destroy — and you’ve got it,” said their superior officers.  A short time later the killing began.  When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the U.S. political establishment, the military’s chain of command, and an already divided American public.


LBJ Announces He Won’t Run:  With his popularity plummeting and dismayed by Senator Eugene McCarthy’s strong showing in the New Hampshire primary, President Lyndon Johnson stuns the nation and announces that he will not be a candidate for re-election.


MLK Slain in Memphis:


Paris Peace Talks Begin:  Following a lengthy period of debate and discussion, North Vietnamese and American negotiators agree on a location and start date of peace talks. bTalks are slated to begin in Paris on May 10 with W. Averell Harriman representing the United States, and former Foreign Minister Xuan Thuy heading the North Vietnamese delegation.


Robert Kennedy Assassinated


Upheaval at Democratic Convention in Chicago:  As the frazzled Democratic party prepares to hold its nominating convention in Chicago, city officials gear up for a deluge of demonstrations.  Mayor Richard Daley orders police to crackdown on antiwar protests.  As the nation watched on television, the area around the convention erupts in violence.


Richard Nixon Elected President:  Running on a platform of “law and order,” Richard Nixon barely beats out Hubert Humphrey for the presidency.  Nixon takes just 43.4 percent of the popular vote, compared to 42.7 percent for Humphrey. Third-party candidate George Wallace takes the remaining percentage of votes.