1862: Vietnam became part of the French Empire


1890: Ho Chi Minh was born


1930: Ho Chi Minh helped to form the Indo-Chinese Communist Party


1941: Vietminh formed to counter Japanese invasion of Vietnam


1945: Japan handed Vietnam to the Vietminh; Ho Chi Minh declared the

Democratic Republic of Vietnam (September); French troops arrived back in Vietnam


1946: war broke out between the French and the Vietminh


1949: Communist China came into being allowing the Vietminh to train in

          China away from French attacks


1950: Truman refused to recognise the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

           Communist China + USSR did recognise Ho’s state


1954: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu – Giap defeated the French force based there; a ceasefire was agreed at Geneva that split Vietnam at the 17th Parallel; France withdrew her military from Vietnam; US promises aid worth $100 million to the anti-communist Diem


1955: The pro-American Ngo Dinh Diem became President of South Vietnam in October. America agreed to train Diem’s army.


1956: Diem started to arrest anyone suspected of being in the Vietminh


1957: the Vietminh started a campaign of guerrilla warfare in South Vietnam


1959: American military advisors were killed in Vietnam – the first US

          casualties; the Ho Chi Minh Trail was first used


1960: the National Liberation Front (NLF) was formed in Hanoi though in the South, they were known as the Vietcong (VC)


1961: US President Kennedy pledged extra aid to South Vietnam


1962: The number of US military advisors increased from 700 to 12,000


1963: President Diem was killed in a military coup

          15,000 US military advisors were in South Vietnam


1964: the Gulf of Tonkin incident; Congress passed the ‘Gulf of Tonkin

          Resolution’; America bombs targets in North Vietnam; NLF   attacked US air bases


1965: ‘Operation Rolling Thunder’ started; first US combat troops were sent to Vietnam in March; by the end of the year there were 200,000 US troops there; first major conventional clash between USA and NVA at Ia Drang


1966: 400,000 US troops were in Vietnam


1967: 490,000 US troops in Vietnam; Nguyen Van Thieu became President of South Vietnam


1968: Tet Offensive; demonstrations against the war started in America; My Lai massacre; peace talks began in Paris; 540,000 US troops in

            Vietnam; anti-Vietnam War riots in Chicago (August)


1969: Nixon ordered the secret bombing of Cambodia; ‘Vietnamization

          started; Nixon announced the start of US troop withdrawals; Ho Chi

          Minh died; 480,000 US troops in Vietnam; My Lai massacre made

public in November


1970: Four student demonstrators shot dead at Kent State University;

          280,000 US troops in Vietnam; secret peace talks held in Paris; large scale anti-war demonstrations throughout USA


1971: 140,000 US troops in Vietnam; Lt. William Calley convicted of murder at My Lai and jailed


1972: Haiphong harbour mined (May); “Peace is at hand” – Dr Kissinger


1973: ceasefire signed in Paris; last US troops left Vietnam; US POW’s



1975: Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia; NLF captured Saigon 


1982: Vietnam Veterans Memorial unveiled in Washington DC