The 17th Parallel
Below is a map of North and South Vietnam after the Geneva Accords of 1954. "In July 1954, the Geneva Agreements were signed. As part of the agreement, the French agreed to withdraw their troops from northern Vietnam. Vietnam would be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel, pending elections within two years to choose a president and reunite the country" (History.com Staff, 2009).
Vietnam war map...
Present day map of Vietnam...
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu
The battle of Dien Bien Phu was the proposal into the first Indochina war (1946-54) It consisted of a struggle between the French and the Vietnamese Communists/Nationalist forces for control of a small mountain outpost on the Vietnamese border which is located near Laos. The battle lasted roughly eight years. The Viet Minh defeated the French (History.com Staff, 2010).
The Mai Lai Massacre
"In one of the most horrific incidents of violence against civilians during the Vietnam War, a company of American soldiers brutally killed the majority of the population of the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai in March 1968." It is confirmed that roughly 300-500 innocent civilians were killed... including children. U.S. Army officers managed to cover up the events of that day for a year. The brutality of the My Lai killings and the extent of the cover-up exacerbated growing antiwar sentiment on the home front in the United States and further divided the nation over the continuing American presence in Vietnam (History.com Staff, 2009).
Operation Rolling Thunder
During the Vietnam War, as part of the strategic bombing campaign known as Operation Rolling Thunder, U.S. military aircraft attacked targets throughout North Vietnam from March 1965 to October 1968. This was intended to put military pressure on North Vietnam’s Communist leaders and reduce their capacity to wage war against the U.S.-supported government of South Vietnam. Operation Rolling Thunder marked the first sustained American assault on North Vietnamese territory and thus represented a major expansion of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (History.com Staff, 2010).