March 8, 1965—The first U.S. combat troops arrive in Vietnam.

October 1965—David J. Miller was one of the first to publicly set his draft card on fire on the steps of the draft office in NYC. He spent two years in prison and perhaps inspired others to do the same.

In 1965 draft calls averaged 5,000 men a month. In 1966 they increased to 50,000 a month, an average that was steadily maintained until Nixon was elected.
Close to 10,000 American soldiers died in battle in 1967. 14,500 died in 1968. 4,200 died in 1970. 

1967—From September through December, there had been seventy-one significant antiwar protests on sixty-two campuses. The first six months of 1968 would see such activities on 101 campuses.

Canada and Sweden were the two favorite sanctuaries chosen by draft-evading Americans, and by 1967 there were 15,000 young American expatriates making new homes in Toronto and Stockholm. They were joined by several thousand deserters from the US armed services. Military desertions grew as the number of those killed, wounded, and missing in Vietnam increased from 2,500 in 1965, to 33,000 in 1966, to 80,000 in 1967, and to 130,000 in 1968. US casualties in the Korean War had totaled about 34,000 killed and 103,000 wounded.

May-October 1967—The worst summer of racial disturbances and unrest in American history takes place.

May 19, 1967—“The Vietnam War is unpopular in this country. It is becoming increasingly unpopular as it escalates--causing more American causalities, more fear of its growing into a wider war...and more distress at the amount of suffering being visited on the noncombatants in Vietnam, South and North. Most Americans do not know how we got where we are, and most ... are convinced that somehow we should not have gotten this deeply in. All want the war ended and expect their President to end it.”

This memo to the President from Secretary of defense Robert McNamara. McNamara chose to resign in 1968. In 1995 he published his memoir, “In Retrospect”, which focused on his role in the war. He admits that he and his colleagues “were wrong, terribly wrong” in their Vietnam War policies. Thirty years too late.

June 13, 1967—Thurgood Marshall is the first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

November 1967—Carl B. Stokes is elected the first black mayor of a major U.S. city, Cleveland Ohio.

1967 October—Antiwar march on the Pentagon attracts 50,000 demonstrators.

1967 December—American troop strength at 485, 600

January 30, 1968—The North Vietnamese join forces with the Viet Cong to launch the Tet Offensive, attacking approximately one hundred South Vietnamese cities and towns. March 16, 1968— U.S. soldiers kill hundreds of Vietnamese civilians in the village of Mai Lai.

April 11, 1968—Congress passes civil rights legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.

November 1968—Shirley Chisholm of New York becomes the first black woman to win a seat in Congress.

November 1968—Richard Nixon elected President; promises “secret plan” to end the war.

December 1968—American troop strength at 536,100

March 1969—Secret bombing of Cambodia begins.

July 1969—President Nixon orders the first of many U.S. troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

September 3, 1969—Communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh dies at age 79.

November 13, 1969—The American public learns of the Mai Lai massacre.

December 1969—American troop strength at 475,200

June 13, 1971—Portions of the Pentagon Papers are published in The New York Times.

March 1972—The North Vietnamese cross the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at the 17th parallel to attack South Vietnam in what became known as the Easter Offensive.

January 27, 1973—The Paris Peace Accords are signed that provide a cease-fire.

March 29, 1973—The last U.S. troops are withdrawn from Vietnam.

March 1975—North Vietnam launches a massive assault on South Vietnam.

April 30, 1975—South Vietnam surrenders to the communists.

Between 1.5 and 2 million Vietnamese died, and some three hundred thousand were left permanently injured. In stark contrast to the few American soldiers who remained missing in action, some three hundred thousand missing Vietnamese have never been found.

58,000 American lives were lost in Vietnam