Post #9

In 1968, Lyndon B Johnson announced on television that he was not running for reelection. He also announced “[I]  am taking the first step to deescalate the conflict [in Vietnam].” Richard Nixon was elected in 1968, and he promised to find a way to achieve “peace with honor” in Vietnam, though he was never entirely clear about how this was going to be accomplished. The public was desperate to get out of Vietnam and were willing to give (very anti-communist) Nixon a chance. After his election, Nixon introduced a new strategy called Vietnamization that was aimed to end American involvement in Vietnam, and leaving military responsibility on South Vietnam.  On Nov. 15, 1969, the largest antiwar protest in United States history took place when as many as half a million people attended a peaceful anti war demonstration in Washington. The rally included many politicians who were against the Vietnam War, who made speeches, and the rally included musical performances as well. The New York Times described the crowd as “predominantly youthful” and “mass gathering of the moderate and radical Left … old-style liberals; Communists and pacifists and a sprinkling of the violent New Left.” (http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/nov-15-1969-anti-vietnam-war-demonstration-held/) The large gathering made it obvious that the public was eager to get out of Vietnam. Protests on college campuses were still frequent and widespread. By the end of 1968, the number of American troops in Vietnam was 535,100, and the number of casualties reached just under 23,000. (22,951)

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