Vietnam - History

circa 2000 B.C. - Mythological founding of Vietnam by Hung Vuong and Au Co.

500 - 207 B.C. - Kingdoms of Van Lang and Au Lac are documented in legend.

2nd century B.C. - 10th century AD - Vietnam is a province of the Chinese Empire.

39 - 40 A.D. - Trung Trac and Trung Nhi lead a series of seiges and establish themselves as Queens.

43 - Facing defeat by the Chinese General Ma Yuan, the Trung sisters drown themselves in the River Day.

192 - The Champa Kingdom is established on the central Vietnamese coast.

248 - Unsuccessful rebellion led by Trieu Au who commits suicide.

544 - 547 - Rebellion led by Ly Bon is suppressed by the Chinese.

938 - 940 - the Viets break freeto establish an independent kingdom.

1407 - 1427 - China temporarily regains practical control over Vietnam.

1471 - The Champa capital of Vijayais captured by the Viets precipitating the gradual disintegration of the Kingdom.

1481 - Expansion through the establishment of militarized agricultural colonies called don-dien begins.

1535 - The Portuguese captain Antonio da Faria lands at Faifo leading to the establishment of Dutch and Portuguese trading posts.

1615 - The first permanent Catholic mission is established in Vietnam.

1626 - Monsigor Alexandre de Rhodes arrives in Vietnam and promotes the rapid spread of Catholicism by developing a latinized Vietnamese alphabet called quoc-hgu.

1672 - Saigon falls to Viet control.

1772 - Tay-Son rebellion begins.

1788 - Nguyen Hue defeats Qing invaders near Thang Long (Hanoi) and proclaims himself Emperor Quang-Trung.

1789 -1792 - Vietnam is embroiled in a dynastic war between the Nguyen, the Tayson and the Trinh. The Prince Nguyen Anh accepts military assistance recruited by the French Missionary Monsignor Pigneau de Behaine.

1801 - Nguyen Anh triumphs and is proclaimed Emperor of Vietnam. In the succeeding years, theFrench became major figures in Vietnamese govemment, business, trade and military affairs.

1847 - French warships, demanding the release of an imprisoned missionary (who had already been deported) fire on, and defeat, Vietnamese warships.

1858 - 1859 - The Emperor Thieu Tri, alarmed by European colonial adventures in Asia, seeks to limit the activities of foreigners in Vietnam. These limitations include restrictions on Catholic missionary activity. These restrictions become the pretext for a French invasion leading to the siezure of Saigon.

1883 - The emperor is forced tosign a humiliating treaty. Although he remains titular head ofstate, Vietnam has become a French colony.

1885 - 1916 - Vietnamese mount a series of unsuccessful rebellions.

1919 - At the Versailles Conference, a Vietnamese delegation presents a petition for an end to French colonialism. It is barred from the conference.

1920 - Ho Chi Minh joins the French Communist Party. He later travels to Moscow, where he receives approval to lead a Vietnamese Communist Party.

1932 - Bao Dai becomes Emperorof Vietnam and seeks reforms. He appoints Ngo Dinh Diem his prime minister.

1933 - Diem resigns. Fearing arrest, he seeks political asylum in Japan.

1939 - Nationalist groups unite in Viet Minh (Front for the Independence of Vietnam), under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh.

1940 - 1944 - Vietnam is occupied by Japan. The Viet Minh fight a guerrilla war against the Japanese.

1945 - In July, Allied leaders debate Vietnam's postwar future and agree to a temporary partitioning, with the south under the British and the north under the Chinese. In August, the Viet Minh capture Hanoi and proclaim the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Bao Dai abdicates. The Chinese withdraw. In September, British troops occupy Saigon and in October the British retum control of southern Vietnam to France.

1946 - Viet Minh war against France begins.

1949 - France offers Vietnam limited independence and asks Bao Dai to form a government. The Viet Minh refuse to recognize Bao Dai.

1950 - U.S. grants France $10 million in military aid.

1952 - U.S. establishes a 35 manmilitary mission in Saigon.

1953 - French concentrate troopsat Dienbienphu.

1954 - Despite massive Americanfinancial assistance, the Viet Minh defeat the French at the Battleof Dienbienphu with only 3000 of a French force of 16 500 surviving.In July the Viet Minh and France sign an armistice. All combatantswithdraw to either side of a line of demarcation. All French troopsare to leave Vietnam by July 1956, when elections are to be heldto choose a national govemment. The accord states that "themilitary demarcation is provisional and should not in any waybe interpreted as constituting a tenitorial or political boundary."Bao Dai names Ngo Dinh Diem his prime minister.

1955 - Diem calls a referendumon the future of southem Vietnam which results in the creationof the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), distinct from NorthVietnam. Diem deposes Bao Dai.

1956 - Diem assumes dictatonalpowers and Viet Minh forces in the south begin an uprising.

1960 - Viet Minh and other anti-Diemforces form the National Liberation Front (NLF).

1961 - 900 U.S. Special Forces(counterinsurgency) troops arrive to act as advisors to the Armyof the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

1962 - U.S. troop strength increasesto 8,000 and the U.S. begins aerial spraying of herbicides (defoliants)over large areas of rural Vietnam. By December, U.S. troop strengthincreases to 11,000.

1963 - May: Buddhist clergy leada protest against the Diem government. Diem responds with massarrests. Buddhist monks begin publicly burning themselves to death.By October, U.S. troop strength increases to 17,000. The ARVNstages coup d'état. Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu,head of police, are murdered.

1964 - U.S. president Lyndon Johnsonannounces that the destroyer Maddox, on patrol in internationalwaters, has been attacked by DRV torpedo boats and then he allegesa second attack against the destroyers Maddox and C. Tumer Joy.He orders a strike by American aircraft against the North Vietnam.Congress grants Johnson the authority to "repel aggression."The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution will be cited as the legal authorityfor all future U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. The NLF,which now controls 75% of South Vietnamese territory, shells U.S.bases at Bien Hoa and Pleiku, the first direct attacks againstAmerican forces.

1965 - A U.S. strategic bombingcampaign against the North Vietnam begins. The first U.S. combattroops arrive and U.S. troop strength increases to 82,000 andby the end of the year to 200,000.

1966 - U.S. troop strength increasesto 250,000 and, by the end of the year, to 375,000.

1967 - U.S. troop strength increasesto 463,000 and General William Westmore land asks for 70,000 moreas minimum essential force.

1968 - In the Tet Offensive, communistforces launch attacks against 100 towns and cities in South Vietnam.Senator William Fulbright reveals that investigation has establishedthat the destroyers Maddbx and C. Turner Joy were in DRV watersand engaged in combat support of South Vietnamese gunboats whenattacked. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, having been obtainedby misrepresentation, is declared null and void. President Johnsonno longer has legal authority for military operations in Vietnam.General Westmoreland requests 200,000 more troops. Westmorelandis recalled. U.S. soldiers destroy the village of My Lai, in SouthVietnam where100 to 200 villagers are executed. Johnson announcesthat he will not stand for re-election. He offers to stop bombingif the DRV will agree to peace talks. North Vietnam agrees topeace talks and U.S. bombings of North Vietnam cease after 107,700bombing raids, dropping more than twice the tonnage dropped byall Allied air forces in Europe during WWII.

1969 - Peace talks begin in Paris.U.S. President Nixon orders secret bombing of Cambodia and announcesa plan to shift all responsibility for the war to the ARVN. Heincreases aid while withdrawing 25,000 U.S. troops.

1970 - The U.S. invades Cambodiawhile peace talks are stalemated on issue of the sovereignty ofSouth Vietnam. Ohio National Guardsmen fire on anti-war demonstratorsat Kent State University, killing 4 students. U.S. and ARVN troopsinvade Laos.

1972 - With most U.S. troops withdrawn,the North invades the South and U.S. responds with renewed bombing.

1973 - The U.S. Congress announcesthat it will approve no further military aid to South Vietnamand peace negotiators abandon demands for a guarantee of the sovereigntyof South Vietnam. The peace treaty is signed but fighting continuesbetween North and South Vietnam. The last U.S. combat troops leaveVietnam.

1975 - On April 30, the last U.S.nationals flee Saigon as troops of the NLF and DRV capture thecity bringing the war to an end.

1976 - Official reunificationtakes place.

1978 - Vietnam invades Cambodia.

1979 - Chinese troops make intrusions into northern Vietnam.

1986 - Economic reform programmecalled doi moi boosts agricultural productivity and othereconomic activity by reducing economic controls.

1989 - Vietnamese troops are withdrawnfrom Cambodia facilitating a peace agreement the following year.

1994 - U.S. lifts trade embargo.

2000 - Vietnam celebrates the 25th anniversary of the "liberation" of South Vietnamwhile demands for economic and political reform grow.

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