The Topic:
Vietnam War

Easier - Vietnam is a small country in Southeast Asia. The Vietnam War was the longest war in which the United States took part. The war began in 1957 and ended in 1975. At that time, Vietnam was separated into Communist-ruled North Vietnam and noncommunist South Vietnam. North Vietnam wanted to end U.S. support of South Vietnam and to unite the north and south into a single nation. The United States and the South Vietnamese army tried to stop them.
 
Harder - The Vietnam War was a second phase of fighting in Vietnam. In 1946 Vietnam was part of the colony of French Indochina and the Vietnamese fought for their independence. The United States provided military equipment, but the French were defeated in 1954. Vietnam was then divided into North and South Vietnam.
 
Communists saw the Vietnam War as an extension of their struggle with France, as another attempt by a foreign power to rule Vietnam, and as a war of national liberation. China and the Soviet Union supported the Vietnamese Communists with war materials but not troops.
 
The Vietnam War can be separated into different periods based upon the United States involvement. From 1957 to 1965, the war was mainly a struggle between the South Vietnamese army and Communist-trained South Vietnamese rebels known as the Viet Cong. The U.S. provided military advisors. The first U.S. troops entered Vietnam in March 1965. Until 1969, North Vietnam and the United States did most of the fighting. By 1969, the Vietnam War seemed endless, and the United States slowly began to withdraw troops. In January 1973, a cease-fire was arranged. The last U.S. ground troops left Vietnam two months later. Despite the treaty fighting between North and South Vietnam resumed soon afterward, but U.S. troops did not return. The war finally ended on April 30, 1975 when South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam.
  
Investigating the Vietnam War (Spartacus Schoolnet)
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/vietnam.html
The main objective of this links-website is to help students to carry out research into the Vietnam War.
Similar Links-Websites:
2) Military history: Vietnam War (1961-1975) http://www.cfcsc.dnd.ca:80/links/milhist/viet.html
3) Vietnam Research Page by Jim Honeycutt (Staples High School, Westport, CT) http://www.stapleshigh.net/shsira/Vietnam.html
4) Vietnam War http://www.geocities.com:80/Athens/Forum/9061/USA/Vietnam/vietnam.html
5) Vietnam War Page by Grover Furr
http://www.shss.montclair.edu/english/furr/vietnam.html
 
Regarding Vietnam: Stories Since the War at PBS
http://www.pbs.org/pov/stories/
Here you can find dialogue on impact of the Vietnam War and the Wall from vets, families, protesters, etc.... Young people are encouraged to conduct and contribute oral histories; a tips page suggests how.
Other Vietnam War Websites at PBS
2) Battlefield Vietnam http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/
3) Vietnam Online http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/
4) Vietnam Online - Maps http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/refer/map1/indexjs.html
 
Vietnam War at The History Place
http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/
This site contains a comprehensive timeline with quotes and analysis of the United States involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1975.
 
Vietnam: Yesterday and Tomorrow at Oakton Community College, Illinois
http://servercc.oakton.edu/~wittman/
The purpose of this website, which has been created primarily for students and teachers, is to point those interested in studying and teaching the war to materials that will be useful. In addition, this site provides resources for understanding Vietnam--as it was then and as it is now.
  
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of these activities:
 
Compare and Contrast. Examine the complexities of the Vietnam War. Compare and contrast the U.S. involvement there with at least one other U.S. foreign war.
 
Interview People About the Vietnam War. Interview several people about their experiences during the Vietnam War years. You can get lots of help on conducting interviews and formulating questions at Oral History.
 
Complete a Vietnam War Webquest. Follow or adapt the procedures of one of these webQuest sites:
1) Reflections of Vietnam (Grade 10-12) http://www.plainfield.k12.in.us/hschool/webq/webq4/vietwa~l.htm
2) The Things They Carried http://170.143.110.3/CyberGuides/ThingsTheyCarried/teachertemplate.html
3) Vietnam (Grade 7) http://students.itec.sfsu.edu/itec815/mcmullin/
4) The Vietnam Conflict (Grade 9-12) http://www.plainfield.k12.in.us/hschool/webq/webq12/vietnam2.htm
5) Vietnam WebQuest by Sean Teer http://edweb.sdsu.edu/t2arp/quest/seanvietnam/vietnam.html
6) Vietnam WebQuest by Kathy Noble (Grade 11) http://www.acsnet.com/~cnoble/Viet.html
 
Debate the Issues. Pick one of the following issues, research the topic, then debate with someone. Be as specific as possible in developing your viewpoint or case. Identify the strengths and weaknesses for both sides of the issue. Switch sides.
  • Did Television Coverage of the War Doom U.S. Involvement?
  • Did the United States Lose the War?
  • Did North Vietnam Win the War?
  • What Changes Should Have Been Made in U.S. Involvement?
 
Write Using a Photograph. Go to one of the Vietnam War websites and select a photograph. Then using it as your focus, write what you think and feel about the scene captured. You may want to pretend that you are there or imagine what is taking place. In addition to the other sites, you can find lots of photos at Vietnam War Photo Album and Vietnam Interactive Portfolio.
  
Websites By Kids For Kids
Radical Times:The Antiwar Movement of the 1960's (1999 ThinkQuest Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/27942/indexnof.htm
This website provides an in-depth overview and discussion of one of the most turbulent movements in history.
 
Vietnam: Then & Now (1999 ThinkQuest Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/25734/
This site includes information about the people, culture, geography, and government of Vietnam today, as well as sections on history and the Vietnam War.
 
Vietnam War (1999 ThinkQuest Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/26926/
Here you can find out about the history, both the US and Viet view, plus background information for the Vietnam War.
 
Lots More Sites
History of Vietnam and the Vietnam War
http://www.vwam.com/vets/hisintro.html
This huge comprehensive site contains articles and information on the history of Vietnam, aspects of the war, specific sections on U.S. armed forces operations, allied forces, North Vietnam, and personal accounts from people who were there.
 
History of the Vietnam War 101 by Bob Blackburn and Edwin Moise
http://espsun.space.swri.edu/vn101/index.htm
This is the site of and active on-line discussion forum on the history of the war in Vietnam is moderated by experts, one a Vietnam War veteran. Trace the thread of recent discussions or pose a question.
   
Many Women Served in Vietnam
http://www.illyria.com/vnwmany.html
"It's time for women's experiences and contributions to be recognized and acknowledged as an important part of the history of the Vietnam conflict."
Related Website:
2) Vietnam Women Veterans http://www.spencergroup.net/vwv/
 
Military History: Vietnam War (1961-1975)
http://www.cfcsc.dnd.ca:80/links/milhist/viet.html
This massive links site connects to maps, journal articles, bibliographies, photos and much more.
   
Statistics about the Vietnam War
http://www.vhfcn.org/stats.htm
This webpage presents statistics and opinions of the Vietnam War.
 
Vietnam
http://www.thehistorynet.com/Vietnam/
This e-zine examines the complexities that made the war in Vietnam unique, including the people, battles, strategies, and weaponry. Authoritative articles and firsthand accounts are accompanied by photography, illustrations and maps detailing battles and operations.
 
Vietnam: Echoes From the Wall from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
http://www.teachvietnam.org/
This site is intended as a resource for educators, students and others who are researching the Vietnam War era or looking for related documents.
 
The Vietnam Experience
http://www1.shore.net/~vietnam/
This is the website of Robert J. George, a Marine in Vietnam during 1969 and `70 and the author of the 26-book Time-Life series titled 'The Vietnam Experience.' Here are photographs and brief memories plus several links to websites for more materials about the Vietnam War.
 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
http://thewall-usa.com/
Visitors can find names on the wall using the site's search engine. The Today's Casualties section honors those killed on this day in history with a brief account of the soldier's background. You may also look at the photo gallery, or request an electronic rubbing (a simulated pencil rubbing) of a veteran's name listed on the wall.
Related Website:
2) Virtual Wall http://www.thevirtualwall.org/
 
Vietnam Veterans
http://grunt.space.swri.edu/
This site includes maps, stories, poems, pictures, and lots more.
 
Vietnam War Internet Project
http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/shwv/shwvhome.html
The website has information and documents about the various Indochina Wars plus oral histories and memoirs of both those who served in and those who opposed those conflicts.
 
Vietnam War Photo Album
http://www.geocities.com/~nam_album/
The vast majority of these photos were taken by American servicemen. For the most part, the pictures are of people, places and things these men felt should be remembered.
Another Photograph Site:
2) Vietnam Interactive Portfolio http://icarus.shu.edu/gallery/V_Portfolio/
  
Wars for Viet Nam: 1945 to 1975 by Robert Brigham (Vassar College)
http://vassun.vassar.edu/~vietnam/
Brigham was the first American scholar given access to the Vietnamese archives on the war in Hanoi. Included here are his translations of some of the Hanoi documents, offered for examination and study.
 
Websites for Teachers
Vietnam (Grade 9-12)
http://www.stark.k12.oh.us/Docs/units/1996/vietnam.mn/
This interdisciplinary, thematic unit has a social focus; it is intended to allow students to explore the concepts of United States' role in World affairs, freedom of speech, civil disobedience and war.
 
Vietnam and Social Activism (Grade 8)
http://www.coreknowledge.org/CKproto2/resrcs/lessons/899Vietnam.pdf
This unit plan covers the Vietnam Conflict from the French Indochina War to the withdrawal of American troops.
 
Vietnam: A Teacher's Guide
http://www.askasia.org/frclasrm/readings/r000189.htm
Since the Vietnam War is frequently referred to as the first "TV war," the approach used here is journalistic. Each section is divided into five parts: "who, what, where, when, and why".
 
Vietnam War: Past and Present by Brian Sims (Grade 9-12)
http://www.tappedin.org/info/teachers/vietnam1.htm
As a watershed event in modern American history, the Vietnam War is an integral part of America today. It altered the political, economic, social, cultural, and ideological landscapes of the United States. This site provides two avenues of information: historical background and curriculum ideas.
 
Website for Parents
 Talking to Your Kids About War: Advice for Concerned Parents
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/yf/famsci/he477w.htm
Conflict...Crisis...of all the traumatic events that affect our citizens, none has impacted more of our population than war. War is an adult issue that affects children of all ages. Adults should openly discuss the children's fears, or fears will multiply. Here are three key ways to combat war fears in children or teens: provide open and honest communication, maintain a regular routine and develop a child's sense of control.
 
South Vietnam
John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
foreign policy
Gulf of Tonkin 1964
'Charlie'
Tet Offensive 1968
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
containment of expansion
military draft
Democratic Republic of Vietnam
1968
Laos
Cambodia
DMZ
North Vietnam
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1968)
jungle canopy
Agent Orange
air strike
Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)
patrol
'booby trap'
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
sniper
POW
communism
helicopter
'tunnel rat'
Hanoi
Viet Cong
'domino effect'
'grunt'
draft dodger
peace activist
Fall of Saigon
veteran
MIA
"Vietnamization"
monsoon rain
Paris Peace Accords
KIA
cease fire
 
  
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 5/00