1915 – The government of Italy agrees to side with the Entente against it’s former ally Austria-Hungary and has been promised substantial territorial gains in the event of victory. Austria-Hungary rapidly moves to reinforce it’s border with Italy from the Eastern Front and Serbia.
1961 – President Kennedy meets with the National Security Council to decide whether to send troops into Laos. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Roswell L. Gilpatric recommends quick expansion of Vietnam’s forces by 40,000 to prevent an invasion of South Vietnam from Laos, as well as an increase of two 1600 man US trainers and 400 Special Forces troops with a counterinsurgency tasking.
1965 – Secretary McNamara reports that although the air raids against North Vietnam have ‘slowed down the movement of men and materiel…infiltration of both arms and personnel into South Vietnam has increased. McNamara, however, refuses to answer questions on increasing troop strength. The war is now costing the nation about $1.5 billion per year.
1965 – A Lou Harris poll shows that about 57% of Americans support Johnson’s handling of the war.
1965 – 20,000 Cambodian students attack the US Embassy there and tear down the US flag in protest.
1967 – US planes from Thailand attack a five-span bridge four miles north of Hanoi to sever rail links to Communist China.
1969 – Two days of heavy fighting near the Cambodian border begin. US planes and artillery hit targets in Cambodia. The Communist attack is turned back.
1971 – In Washington D.C., heretofore peaceful anti-war protests of the past five days, change character as militant leaders from Vietnam Veterans Against the War take over. Tactics change to aggressive ‘people’s lobbying,’ with the avowed purpose of ‘shutting down the government,’ primarily by clogging traffic. 5000 Washington police, backed by 12000 troops outmaneuver them.
1955 – After a meeting with General J. Lawton Collins in Washington, Secretary Dulles reluctantly agrees to replace Diem and cables the embassy in Saigon to find an alternative. CIA Colonel Lansdale, who has already helped foil General Hinh’s coup against Diem by organizing an effective palace guard, rallies to Diem’s side. he presses the embassy to support Diem and takes ‘all measures possible under narrow limits permitted by US policy.’
1965 – President Johnson renews his offer of ‘unconditional discussions…with any governments concerned,’ and defends US bombing raids. “Our restraint was viewed as weakness. We could no longer stand by while attacks mounted.”
1968 – Vice-President Hubert Humphrey announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In an interview he supports the current US policy of sending troops ‘where required by our own national security.’
1972 – Official Vietnam peace talks, suspended on 23 March, resume in Paris.
1955 – The US Embassy is told to burn Dulles’ order of the preceding day. Diem has succeeded in fighting in Saigon, but most of the more than 2000 Binh Xuyen, Cao Dai, and Hoa Hao fighters who withdrew into the Mekong Delta will remerge to continue opposition to Diem as Vietcong.
1965 – CIA director John A. McCone sends a personal memo to President Johnson stating his view that unless the United States is willing to further intensify bombing, there is no use in committing more US ground troops.
1967 – General Westmoreland addresses a joint session of Congress and receives a standing ovation, declaring, “Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination, and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the Communist aggressor.”
1954 – At a press conference, President Eisenhower denies US plans for massive air strikes or other intervention in Vietnam. “You certainly cannot hope…for a completely satisfactory answer with the Communists. The most you can work out is a practical way of getting along.”
1966 – An article in the Soviet newspaper Pravda assets that the television program Batman is brainwashing American children into becoming ‘murderers’ in Vietnam.