1963 – Buddhist monk Quang Duc publically burns himself in a plea for Diem to show ‘charity and compassion’ to all religions. Diem remains stubborn, despite repeated US requests, and his special committee of inquiry confirms his contention that the Vietcong are responsible for the Hue incident. More Buddhist monks immolate themselves during the ensuing weeks. Madame Nhu refers to the burnings as ‘barbecues’ and offers to supply matches.
1966 – Defense Secretary McNamara discloses that another 18,000 troops will be sent to Vietnam, raising the US commitment there to 285,000 men.
1969 – Communist forces stage heavy ground attacks on two US bases south of Danang. Vietcong troops at a base at Tamky, 35 miles south of Danang, cut through the base defense perimeter and fight the defenders hand-to-hand.
1967 – The Chinese claim that a pilotless US reconnaissance plane has been shot down over the southern part of the Kwangsi Chuang Autonomous Region.
1967 – The US First infantry Division begins a 6 day drive into War Zone D, 50 miles north of Saigon, in an effort to trap three Vietcong battalions.
1972 – The Joint US Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) in Saigon is closed after four years of directing psychological warfare in Vietnam. its duties are taken over by the USIA and other agencies.
1972 – In its strongest statement against the United States since President Nixon’s February visit, China for the first time denounces the intensified bombing of North Vietnam, calling the raids, which approach her borders for the first time since 1968, acts of aggression against the Vietnamese people and ‘grave provocations against the Chinese people.’
1969 – The US government discloses it used wiretapping devices to eavesdrop on the ‘Chicago Eight’ anti-war activists who have been indicted for inciting riots during the 1968 Democratic convention. The government contends it has the right to eavesdrop without court approval on members of organizations it believes to be seeking to attack and subvert the government.
1969 – Souvanna Phouma, premier of Laos, acknowledges publically for the first time that US planes regularly carryout bombing raids in Laos and says the bombing will continue as long as North Vietnam uses Laotian bases and infiltration routes.
1969 – B-52 bombing missions over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in southern Laos rise to 5,567 in 1969, up from 3,377 in 1968, according to official Pentagon statistics. The B-52s, no longer permitted to bomb North Vietnam since the November 1968 bombing halt, are increasingly diverted to Laos and, in secret, to Cambodia. Nearly 160,000 tons of bombs are dropped on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1969.
1964 – General Westmoreland is in Malaysia to study the methods used by the British to defeat the Communist guerrillas there.
1964 – The US military allows its own pilots operating out of Thailand to hit targets of opportunity in Laos.
1968 – A Federal District Court jury in Boston convicts Dr. Benjamin Spock of conspiring to aid draft registrants in violating the Selective Service Law.
1972 – US planes flying a record number of strikes over North Vietnam, 340, sever the main railway line between Hanoi and Haiphong.
1969 – North Vietnamese forces twice attack Third Brigade headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division atop a 2,000-foot peak just east of Apbia mountain.
1967 – The Vietcong’s National Liberation Front Radio warns that captured Americans will be executed if ‘the US aggressors and their Saigon stooges’ execute ‘three Vietnamese patriots’ sentenced to death by a special military tribunal in Saigon.
1970 – Congress turns down end-the-war proposals as the Senate refuses twice to set a Vietnam troop withdrawal deadline and the House on 17 June also declines to set a pullout date.
1965 – For the first time, 27 B-52s fly from Guam to bomb a Vietcong concentration in a heavily forested area of Binhduong Province. Such flights, under the aegis of the Strategic Air Command, are known as Operation Arc Light.
1971 – After 21 months of hard bargaining, US Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Japanese Foreign minister Kiichi Aichi sign a treaty returning Okinawa, scene of one of the bloodiest World War II Pacific campaigns, to Japanese rule. Located just 400 miles from Communist China, for 25 years it has been the key center through which US supplies flowed in the Korean and Vietnam wars. It is due to remain the most powerful base in the western Pacific, but under terms of the treaty, nuclear weapons are banned from Okinawa and its use as a base for staging to wars in Asia is to be limited.