On this day 16 August Vietnam

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1964 General Khanh ousts General Minh as chief of state

General Nguyen Khanh, elected president by the Military Council, ousts Duong Van Minh as South Vietnamese chief of state and installs a new constitution, which the U.S. Embassy had helped to draft.

Khanh said that he was not becoming a military dictator, but it was clear that he was now the chief power in the Saigon government. Within the week, student demonstrations against Khanh and the military government quickly turned into riots. Meanwhile, Henry Cabot Lodge, former ambassador to South Vietnam, went to Western Europe as a personal emissary of President Johnson to explain U.S. policy in Vietnam and to obtain more support from allies. Lodge returned with pledges from West Germany, Holland, Belgium, Great Britain, and Spain to provide nonmilitary technical aid to South Vietnam, but none agreed to provide military support.

1966 Congress investigates antiwar demonstrators

The House Un-American Activities Committee investigates Americans who have given aid to the Viet Cong with a view toward introducing legislation to make such activities illegal. Demonstrators disrupted the hearings and before it was over, more than 50 people were arrested for disorderly conduct. The Chairman of the subcommittee, Representative J. R. Pool (D-Texas) announced that the hearings had revealed that key leadership of groups supporting the Viet Cong were comprised of revolutionary, hard-core Communists.

1967 Tonkin Gulf Resolution challenged

President Johnson's broad interpretation of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is attacked in the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee by the Chairman, Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, who feels that Johnson has no mandate to conduct the war on the present scale.

1972 Heavy air attacks on North Vietnam

U.S. fighter-bombers fly 370 air strikes against North Vietnam, the highest daily total of the year; additionally, there are eight B-52 strikes in the North. Meanwhile, U.S. warplanes flew 321 missions (including 27 B-52 strikes) in South Vietnam, mostly in Quang Tri province. Despite this heavy air activity, hopes for an agreement to end the war rise as Henry Kissinger leaves Paris to confer with President Thieu and his advisers.
 

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