The Vietnam War greatly changed America forever. It was the longest war fought in America’s history, lasting from 1955 to 1973. The Vietnam War tarnished America’s self image by becoming the first time in history the United States failed to accomplish its stated war aims, to preserve a separate, independent, noncommunist government. It was the first war ever broadcast on television. The public was able to see what happened on the battlefield. One of the chief effects of the war was the division it caused among the people. The war also had great effects on the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
After the death of President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was appointed president of the United States. Johnson felt that the U.S. should stay involved in Vietnam to prove the U.S. kept its commitments and could stop communism aggression. LBJ further increased the number of advisors and equipment being sent to Vietnam, he wanted to declare war and destroy North Vietnam and Communism as soon as possible, even if he had to sacrifice his plans for a 'Great Society.' On August 4 the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy both reported attacks from North Vietnam forces. Johnson decided to escalate the war. He ordered bombing of different North Vietnam targets. Congress soon authorized the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the president authority “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” Johnson came up with a strategy to take control of Vietnam called Operation Rolling Thunder. The operation would consist of bombing of North Vietnam, more air power, and increase the number of ground troops. In June 1965, U.S. advisors were sent into combat. This would shift the U.S. “from helping the Vietnam people help themselves, to fighting a full-scale war on and over the land mass of Asia.”
In January of 1968, the Vietcong and North Vietnam prepared for a major...
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