1976 – 1980

Pham Van Dong Heads Socialist Republic of Vietnam:  As the National Assembly meets in July of 1976, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam appoints Pham Van Dong its prime minister.  Van Dong and his fellow government leaders, of whom all but one are former North Vietnamese officials, take up residence in the nation’s new capital–Hanoi.

jimmycarterJimmy Carter Elected US President

Carter Issues Pardon to Draft Evaders:  In a bold and controversial move, newly inaugurated President Jimmy Carter extends a full and unconditional pardon to nearly 10,000 men who evaded the Vietnam War draft.

Vietnam Granted Admission to United Nations

Relations Between Vietnam and China Deteriorate

Vietnam Invades Cambodia:   Determined to overthrow the government of Pol Pot, Vietnam invades Cambodia. Phnompenh, Cambodia’s capital, falls quickly as Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge followers flee into the jungles.

“Boat People” Flee Vietnam:  Swarms of Vietnamese refugees take to the sea in overcrowded and unsafe boats in search of a better life. The ranks of the “boat people” include individuals deemed enemies of the state who’ve been expelled from their homeland.

China Invades,Withdraws from, Vietnam

US GAO Issues Report on Agent Orange:  After years of Defense Department denials, the U.S. General Accounting Office releases a report indicating that thousands of US troops were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange.  Thousands of veterans had demanded a government investigation into the effect that dioxin, a chemical found in Agent Orange, had on the human immune system.

ap_ronald_reagan_jef_120615_wmainRonald Reagan Elected US President:  Reagan starts the initiative to end the cold war this effort culminates with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.