#AtoZ 1968 – “V” is for Vietnam

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

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It would be impossible to write anything about 1968 without including Vietnam. More than 3 million people were killed (including over 58,000 Americans). The war bitterly divided Americans.

The series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is worth watching, as it details the history (back to the end of World War II) that led up to the conflict, and has interviews with those who fought and those who opposed it.

By 1962, the United States military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s. By June of 1965, 82,000 combat troops were stationed in Vietnam, and by November 1967, the number of American troops there was approaching 500,000.

Class was always the domestic issue during the Vietnam War, not communism. ~ John Gregory Dunne

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By March 1968, Johnson promised to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Peace talks opened in May 1968 but soon reached an impasse.

I covered the Vietnam War. I remember the lies that were told, the lives that were lost – and the shock when, twenty years after the war ended, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara admitted he knew it was a mistake all along. ~ Walter Cronkite

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BONUS MUSIC!

Here’s the #6 song from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 Singles of 1968

“Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream

10 thoughts on “#AtoZ 1968 – “V” is for Vietnam

  1. The big biggie of the 60s indeed Martha. Sad time in our history. So much death and destruction, and that quote reads right on — all about class not communism. Just like Iraq was really not about a dictator.

  2. Fog of War, a documentary about McNamara’s xperience, is another good movie. I meant to watch it again after the Ken Burns doc, but I was truly burned out by then.

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