Under President George H.W. There were five United States presidents who held office during the Vietnam War. One and a half million is a lot more than 650,000. Initially, many Vietnamese appreciated the anti-colonial views of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who opposed the return of the French colonizers and who asserted in a charter that all people had a right “to choose the form of government under which they will live.” During World War II, Ho Chi Minh received arms from the CIA’s predecessor, helped locate downed American pilots and gathered intelligence on Japanese military positions. Kennedy wished to overthrow Prime Minister Ngo Sinh Diem, the leader of Vietnam, but was assassinated before he could do so. In the White House Situation Room, Walt Rostow shows President Lyndon B. Johnson options for a military attack on a site in Vietnam during the war in 1968. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Who Was the U.S. President During the Vietnam War. Jefferson Davis was elected president of the … In 1965, he stepped down and eventually died in 1969. I read a letter from an individual who said the war was already being planned in the Eisnhower presidence and continued thru Richard Nixon. In 1975 Saigon, the capital city of South Vietnam was named after him and became known as the Ho Chi Minh City in Honor of his contribution to Vietnam. There are 24 presidents who are confirmed to have served in combat, and six presidents were in the military but saw no action. The Persian Gulf War, also known as the First Iraq War, occurred from August 2, 1990, to February 28, 1991. If half of the total casualties in Vietnam occurred after Nixon took office, the toll under Nixon was about 1.5 million Vietnamese deaths. By that time the communists and South Vietnamese were already engaged in what journalists labeled the “postwar war.” Both sides alleged, more or less accurately, that the other side was continuously violating the terms of the peace agreements. In 1991, authorization was made for the Persian Gulf War while President George H.W. JFK was president from 1961 until he was shot in 1963. State Department officials in Asia warned Harry Truman, who became president in 1945 upon Roosevelt’s death, that French rule of Vietnam would lead to “bloodshed and unrest.” But Truman did not share his predecessor’s anti-colonialism and ultimately acquiesced to the reestablishment of France’s prewar empire, which he hoped would shore up France’s economy and national pride. Draft calls soon skyrocketed—along with draft resistance—and by 1967 there were around 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. Some presidents served in the military during war time but saw no action, so it is unclear exactly how many presidents can really be considered war veterans. Which 5 Presidents Were In Office During The Vietnam War? Elections were supposed to take place to reunite Vietnam, but Diem, with U.S. support, backed out for fear that Ho would win. Originally a supporter of Diem, Kennedy sanctioned a coup in 1963 that resulted in Diem’s death just weeks prior to his own assassination. Ex-President George H. W. Bush made the call to send troops to Saudi Arabia in preparation for the attacks. Recognizing that the South Vietnamese government and army were on the verge of collapse, Johnson sent the first U.S. combat troops into battle in early 1965. Declaration of Independence as part of a speech in which he implored the Allies to recognize Vietnam’s independence. NOAA Hurricane Forecast Maps Are Often Misinterpreted — Here's How to Read Them. In 1995 Vietnam released its official estimate of the number of people killed during the Vietnam War: as many as 2,000,000 civilians on both sides and some 1,100,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters. Nixon also ordered the most intense air assault of the war, pummeling North Vietnamese cities with roughly 36,000 tons of bombs late in 1972. Vietnam War - Vietnam War - The fall of South Vietnam: On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. military unit left Vietnam. Though each president expressed doubts in private about American involvement, none wanted to be blamed for losing Vietnam to the communists. White House Collection / National Archives. Fearing that Vietnam, too, would become a communist state, he sent over transport planes and jeeps, along with 35 military advisers, as part of a multimillion-dollar aid package. 1950: The Viet Minh and Chinese troops, armed with Soviet military equipment, attacked French outposts in Vietnam. At the time of Kennedy’s assassination, U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War remained fairly limited. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon oversaw the conflict, which ratcheted up in intensity as the years passed by. Richard Nixon campaigned for the White House promising to end the Vietnam War. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon all deepened U.S. involvement in the decades-long conflict. He risked decades in prison to release 7,000 top-secret documents to The New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. Vice President Andrew Johnson became president of the United States after Lincoln's assassination. That same year, large anti-war demonstrations popped up in cities across America. However, according to the Civil War Trust, the last battle was fought on May 13, 1865, after Lincoln was shot April 14. The question of how to handle the situation in Vietnam vexed President Kennedy from his first days in office. Granted, they did send advisors there, however I think the answerers misunderstand the question; the asker said "during Vietnam War", not before Vietnam War. Yet because Eisenhower subscribed to the “domino theory,” which held that if one country fell to communism then its neighbors would follow, he refused to abandon Vietnam altogether. After visiting Vietnam as a congressman in 1951, John F. Kennedy publicly lambasted U.S. efforts to assist the French, saying that to act “in defiance of innately nationalistic aims spells foredoomed failure.” Three years later, he presciently declared, “I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance … can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere.”. 2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam. The last president during the Vietnam War was Richard Nixon. 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