1964 – France proposes reconvening a 14-nation conference on Laos in Geneva; it is rejected by the United States and Great Britain but accepted by the Soviets, Poland, Cambodia, India, and Communist China.
1970 – More than 100,000 construction workers, dock men, and office workers lead a parade in New York City supporting the policies of President Nixon and attacking Mayor John Lindsay and other opponents of the Vietnam War.
1970 – About 2,500 South Vietnamese soldiers, supported by US airpower and advisors, open up a new front in Cambodia, 125 miles north of Saigon, bringing the number of South Vietnamese troops in Cambodia to 40,000. South Vietnamese troops link up with Cambodian forces 25 miles north of Takeo after a cross country drive.
1972 – President Nixon meets with Leonid Brezhnev for summit talks in Moscow. Although Vietnam is discussed, there is no change in the Soviet Union’s support of North Vietnam, and both parties are apparently unwilling to risk détente over the topic.
1964 – The UN Security Council meets to consider Cambodia’s charge that the United States directs South Vietnamese raids into Cambodia. US Ambassador Adali Stevenson calls for a clear marking of the border and the stationing of some force to police it.
1968 – The allied command in Saigon announces the start of a new program, Operation Hearts Together, designed to resettle Saigon area families.
1964 – In a major speech before the American Law Institute in Washington, Secretary of State Rusk explicitly accuses North Vietnam of initiating and directing the aggression in South Vietnam. US withdrawal, says Rusk, ‘would mean not only grievous losses to the free world in Southeast and Southern Asia but a drastic loss of confidence in the will and capacity of the free world.’ he concluded: “There is a simple prescription for peace– leave your neighbors alone.”
1964 – Thailand mobilizes its border provinces against incursions by the Pathet Lao and agrees to the use of bases by the US Air Force for reconnaissance, search and rescue, and attacks against the Pathet Lao. By the end of the year, 75 US aircraft will be stationed in Thailand.
1965 – US intelligence confirms that the Soviet Union is building anti-aircraft missile sites in and around Hanoi, and more of them than expected.
1966 – In a television interview, US Air Forde Secretary Harold Brown reveals that President Johnson is opposed to widening the air war in North Vietnam because such a move would not completely cut off North-South movement and it might prompt Chinese intervention.
1968 – Xuan Thuy, chief North Vietnamese delegate to the peace talks, declares that negotiations will remain deadlocked until the US unconditionally terminates all bombing raids on North Vietnam. Ambassador Harriman replies that a bombing halt must be accompanied by mutual troop withdrawals along the DMZ, but Thuy rejects the proposal, charging that it is the US that has violated the buffer zone.
1969 – In Phubai, South Vietnam, Major General Melvin Zais, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, says his orders were ‘to destroy enemy forces’ in the Ashau valley and Apbia mountain form 10-20 May and says that he did not have any orders to reduce casualties by avoiding battles. Apbia mountain has been dubbed ‘Hamburger Hill’ due to high casualties on both sides. The US military command in Saigon states that the recent battle for Apbia mountain is an integral part of the policy of ‘maximum pressure’ that it has been pursuing for the last six months and confirms that no orders have been received from President Nixon to modify the basic strategy.
1970 – The White House announces the US is prepared to continue air cover, if needed, for South Vietnamese forces that are considered almost certain to remain in Cambodia after US troops are withdrawn.
1961 – Vice-President Johnson reports to President Kennedy on his visit to Asia. Giving Thailand and Vietnam pivotal significance, he reports that the United States must either aid these countries or ‘pull back our defenses to San Francisco and a “Fortress America” concept.’ he feels Asian leaders would welcome US troops if openly attacked.
1964 – Assistant Secretary of State William Bundy directs the drawing up of a three-day scenario that, while publicly pretending that the US and South Vietnam are trying to avoid widening the war, assumes that the US will begin full-scale bombing against the North.
1968 – At the conclusion of an experimental civic affairs program in Longan province, John Paul Vann and other US advisors issue a report recommending widespread changes in the pacification effort. The report states that Saigon has little understanding of its people’s needs and has consistently failed to provide adequate funds and services for grass-roots programs. As a result, the Vietcong continue to collect taxes and recruit troops from many hamlets that the government claims it has pacified.
1964 – Senator Barry Goldwater, regarded as a serious contender for the Republican nomination for the presidency, gives an interview in which he proposes the use of low-yield atomic bombs to defoliate forests and the bombing of bridges, rods, and railroad lines bringing supplies form Communist China. During the storm of criticism that follows, Goldwater tries to back away from these drastic proposals stating that he was repeating suggestions made by military advisors. Johnson will capitalize on the controversy and paint Goldwater as an extremist.
1967 – In response to Secretary of Defense McNamara’s order for a new study of bombing alternatives on 20 May, the Joint Chiefs submit three memoranda renewing earlier recommendations for more then 200,000 new troops and for air attacks on Haiphong, mining of Haiphong Harbor, and raids on eight major railways leading to China.
1962 – A report of the International Control Commission (ICC) for Vietnam charges North Vietnam with subversion and aggression into South Vietnam. It also charges that the United States is violating the Geneva Agreements with its military buildup in South Vietnam, and accuses South Vietnam of violating the 1954 Geneva Accords by accepting US military aid and establishing ‘a factual military alliance’ with the US. The report is adopted by the Indian and Canadian members of the ICC but is opposed by the Polish member.
1967 – Fighting resumes in the southeastern section of the DMZ when two Marine battalions assault a North Vietnamese position on Hill 117, three miles west of the base at Conthien. They withdraw after blowing up enemy bunkers there on the 27th.
1964 – Sihanouk says he welcomes UN inquiry teams or UN troops to police the disputed border with South Vietnam.
1916 – President Woodrow Wilson suggest the creation of an international body with the authority to maintain peace and the freedom of the seas.
1918 – General Erich Ludendorff, the deputy chief of the German General Staff, opens his third offensive on the Western Front in 1918. It is a diversionary attack against the French forces holding the Chemin des Dames section of the Aisne River. Ludendorff’s aim is to prevent the French from sending reinforcements to the British in northern France, where he is planning to attack again. The offensive is led by General Max von Boehn’s Seventh Army and the First Army under General Bruno von Mudra, a total of 44 divisions. The objective of their advances, codenamed Bluecher and Yorck is General Denis Duchene’s French Sixth Army which consists of 12 divisions, including 3 British. The German onslaught is heralded by a bombardment from 4600 artillery pieces, followed by an attack by seven divisions on a front of 10 miles. The Germans immediately capture the Chemin des Dames and advance on the Aisne River, taking several intact bridges. By the end of the day the Germans have advanced 10 miles. Although the offensive is intended to be limited in scope, its early successes convince the German high command to press forward, as Paris is only 80 miles distant. However the French are being sent reinforcements by the commander of the American Expeditionary Force, General John Pershing. They are General Omar Bundy’s 2nd Division and the 3rd Division under General J.T. Dickman. These will make their first contact with the Germans at the Marne River.
1968 – Thai Premier Thanom Kittikachorn announces that, at President Johnson’s request, his country will send 5,000 more troops to Vietnam.