Vietnam Blog

1968 Vietnam

1968 Vietnam

In 1968, Vietnam was embroiled in a brutal and controversial war that had been ongoing since the mid-1950s. This year would prove to be a turning point in the conflict, with significant events and developments taking place that would shape the course of the war and its aftermath.

Tet Offensive

One of the most significant events of 1968 was the Tet Offensive, which began on January 30th. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched a series of coordinated attacks on over 100 cities and towns across South Vietnam. This surprise offensive caught the United States and its allies off guard and demonstrated the resilience and determination of the enemy.

The Tet Offensive was a military failure for the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, as they suffered heavy casualties and were eventually pushed back. However, it had a profound psychological impact on the American public and eroded support for the war. The media coverage of the offensive, particularly the shocking images of the Battle of Hue, shocked and disillusioned many Americans.

My Lai Massacre

Another dark chapter in the Vietnam War unfolded in 1968 with the My Lai Massacre. On March 16th, American soldiers from the Charlie Company, under the command of Lieutenant William Calley, massacred between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, in the village of My Lai.

The My Lai Massacre was initially covered up by the military, but eventually came to light thanks to the efforts of investigative journalists. The revelations of this horrific event further fueled anti-war sentiment and led to increased scrutiny of the conduct of American troops in Vietnam.

Anti-War Protests

1968 was a year of intense anti-war protests both in the United States and around the world. The war had already been a source of controversy and opposition, but the events of this year intensified the opposition movement. The Tet Offensive and the My Lai Massacre, along with the increasing number of American casualties, fueled public anger and frustration.

Protests took place on college campuses, in major cities, and even at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Demonstrators called for an end to the war and criticized the government’s handling of the conflict. The anti-war movement became a significant force in shaping public opinion and ultimately played a role in the decision to withdraw American troops from Vietnam.

Political Developments

1968 was also a pivotal year in terms of political developments related to the Vietnam War. In the United States, the presidential election took place, and the war became a central issue. The Democratic Party was divided, with anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy challenging incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson for the nomination.

Johnson eventually decided not to seek re-election, and Vice President Hubert Humphrey became the Democratic nominee. The Republican Party nominated Richard Nixon, who promised to bring an end to the war. The election of Nixon marked a shift in the approach to the conflict, as he pursued a policy of Vietnamization, gradually transferring the responsibility for the war to the South Vietnamese forces.


The events of 1968 had a lasting impact on the Vietnam War and its legacy. The Tet Offensive and the My Lai Massacre exposed the harsh realities of the war and contributed to the growing opposition to U.S. involvement. The anti-war protests and political developments of the year further fueled the movement to end the war.

The war would continue for several more years, with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 finally bringing an end to direct U.S. involvement. However, the war left a deep scar on American society and had far-reaching consequences for Vietnam and its people.

In conclusion, 1968 was a pivotal year in the Vietnam War, marked by significant events and developments that shaped the course of the conflict. The Tet Offensive, My Lai Massacre, anti-war protests, and political changes all played a role in shaping public opinion and ultimately influencing the decision to withdraw American troops. The legacy of the war continues to be felt today, reminding us of the importance of reflecting on the past and learning from history.

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