U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk as he outlines the many proposals to negotiate that have been ignored by North Vietnam and China. President Lyndon Johnson as he speaks at News Conference July 28, 1965: Excerpt from speech: we do not seek the destruction of any government, nor do we covet a foot of any territory. But we insist and we will always insist that the people of South Viet-Nam shall have the right of choice, the right to shape their own destiny in free elections in the South or throughout all Viet-Nam under international supervision, and they shall not have any government imposed upon them by force and terror so long as we can prevent it. We do not want an expanding struggle with consequences that no one can perceive, nor will we bluster or bully or flaunt our power, but we will not surrender and we will not retreat.
Destroyed planes and facilities at U.S. airfields and installations in South Vietnam including the barracks of U.S. servicemen. Bombing of American Embassy in Saigon. Images of American Embassy personnel in Saigon wounded by car bomb March 30, 1965.
Huey UH-1 helicopter in flight. CU image of Huey UH-1 helicopter in flight. Image of a downed Huey UH-1 helicopter laying on it’s side. U.S. soldiers scramble out of crashed helicopter under fire from Vietcong and run for cover. Image of wounded U.S. soldiers in hospital ward in South Vietnam. CU image of U.S. soldier with head wound.
Flag draped caskets of U.S. Soldiers killed in Vietnam. Servicemen loading flag draped caskets of U.S. Soldiers killed in Vietnam onto aircraft for return to America. First combat units of the Marine Corp arrive in Vietnam. Marines disembark from troop ship. Images of Marines climbing down cargo net into landing craft. View from landing craft as the Marines hit the beach in Vietnam March 8, 1965. Image of Army combat units arriving in Vietnam in a C-130 Hercules. Young South Vietnamese children washing hands, brushing hair, getting ready for a meal.
President Lyndon Johnson. Excerpts from his speech at the News Conference July 28, 1965. I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle. I have seen them in a thousand streets, of a hundred towns, in every State in this Union–working and laughing and building, and filled with hope and life. As long as there are men who hate and destroy, we must have the courage to resist. We did not choose to be the guardians at the gate, but there is no one else. Nor would surrender in Viet-Nam bring peace, because we learned from Hitler at Munich that success only feeds the appetite of aggression. Moreover, we are in Viet-Nam to fulfill one of the most solemn pledges of the American Nation. Three Presidents- President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, and your present President- over 11 years have committed themselves and have promised to help defend this small and valiant nation. Strengthened by that promise, the people of South Viet-Nam have fought for many long years. Thousands of them have died. Thousands more have been crippled and scarred by war. We just cannot now dishonor our word, or abandon our commitment, or leave those who believed us and who trusted us to the terror and repression and murder that would follow.
Bow shot of U.S. air craft carrier cutting through the water at high speed. Low aerial view of U.S. air craft carrier with planes on flight deck. Image of aircraft launch from deck of U.S. aircraft carrier.
Two B-52 bombers dropping releasing bombs over North Vietnam; ground explosions. B-52 Stratofortress bombing North Vietnam.
CU image of B-52 bomber as bombs are dropped.
CU Image of President Johnson as he says This, then, my fellow Americans, is why we are in Viet-Nam.