The Vietnam War
ebook ∣ Monumental Milestones
By Karen Bush Gibson
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The Vietnam War sparked one of the most controversial periods in American history. Although Vietnam had been fighting for its independence for thousands of years, the United States didn't enter the picture until the 1950s. Increasing tensions between North and South Vietnam officially brought the U.S. into the war in 1964. At the same time, a military draft was instituted. People struggled to understand the role of the U.S. in Vietnam. Americans began learning more about the Vietnam War through television. As the first "televised" war, Americans were treated to horrific scenes with their evening news. Popular magazines and newspapers published the effects of battle on their front pages. These images added to the antiwar sentiment. Meanwhile, three million U.S. troops faced constant danger in a war eventually determined to be "unwinnable." After more than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, the U.S. finally pulled out of Vietnam in 1973, and South Vietnam fell in 1975. The effects of the war would last much longer.