American History / 1968 Was A Turning Point For The United States. Assess The Validity Of This Statement

1968 Was A Turning Point For The United States. Assess The Validity Of This Statement

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Autor:  anton  26 March 2011
Tags:  Turning,  United,  States,  Assess
Words: 647   |   Pages: 3
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During the 1960s our nation was going through many important and crucial events. From the Vietnam War to national politics, and even civil rights, our country was changing a lot. In particular, the year 1968, was when our country went through a major turning point, especially when you take in consideration the major events that involved the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement such as the “Tet Offense”, violent protests, and the Civil Rights Act being passed.

The Vietnam War is still a very controversial subject to this day. Whether or not we won is still being debated, but during 1968 there were many significant events that took place involving the Vietnam War. The most significant would probably be the “Tet Offense”. On January 30, 1968, the “Tet Offense” was activated. This employed coordinated attacks on South Vietnam’s major cities by North Vietnamese and National Liberation troops. As a result, it failed to achieve its military objectives, but eroded U.S. support for the war. By February 24, the Tet Offense is halted, and South Vietnam recaptures the city of Hue. In the year, 1968, the War had escalated to its peak; this caused President Johnson to not seek another term in office. On March 7, the first battle in Saigon had happened which was a very big turning point for the U.S.

The My Lai Massacre was probably the thing that caused most Vietnam Veterans to get the name “Baby Killers”. On March 16, U.S. troops went to My Lai and killed countless numbers of women and children. This was also the year that the Viet Cong attacked the U.S. embassy in Saigon, causing countless American to flee Vietnam. The National Police Chief of South Vietnam, Nguyen Ngoc Loan, executed a V.C. officer which swayed the American public’s opinion of the war ever more negatively. The war got even more public negativity when on October 14th, the U.S. Department of Defense announces that they will send 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary 2nd tours. President Johnson finally realized though how bad the War was getting in Vietnam and orders the complete cessation of air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam.

The Civil Rights movement was a very important event that helped in the forming of our country. Probably the most famous and influential civil rights movement leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated on April 4, right outside of his hotel room in Tennessee. There were many civil rights movements and protests during this year. One example is when Jeanette Rankin, former congresswoman, lead 5000women to Capitol Hill in protest for women’s rights and the Vietnam War. This same year, the EEOC ruled that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers were illegal. This opened the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs that were open only to men at the time.

On February 8, there was a protest against a white-only bowling alley. It was the “All-Star Bowling Lane” in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and led to the death of 3 college students. One of the most significant civil rights movements would be what dealt with housing issues. Protests about fair housing led to the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that allowed open housing for people of all races. The Black Panthers were also making headway in civil rights on February 17th, 1968. On April 11, 1968, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act; This Act prohibited the discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of houses. This act also reinstated and reinvigorated the African Americans' right to full citizenship.

During the year 1968, our country went through a very big turning point. From issues that involved the Vietnam War to civil rights, our country did a total 360. Events like the “Tet Offense”, violent protests, and the Civil Rights Act being passed; all caused our country to go through a major turning point in history.

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