Each of these timelines explores a segment of the Vietnam war and how popular music reflected and reacted to the events of the Conflict. The timelines are broken up along major phases of the war and its place in popular culture. Most recordings mentioned in the timelines can be found in our collections.
While a matter of some contention, the U.S. government recognizes the formation of the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Vietnam, marking America's new position of supporting Vietnam in place of France following the end of the Second Indochina War, as the starting point of the conflict. This timeline begins with The establishment of MAAG Vietnam and ends with the assassinations of both Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm and U.S. President John F. Kennedy and is scored by songs of nationalist support and early exasperation with the conflict.
In the dissarray following the deaths of the leaders of the United States and South Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson's escalation of American involvement in Vietnam radically re-shaped the trajectory of the war. This timeline outlines the surge in the conflict following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident through to American troop levels hitting their peak in 1968.
One of Richard Nixon's first major pieces of legislation after taking office was to begin instituting his policy of Vietnamization leading to South Vietnam taking control of operations. This timeline covers the final years of the war from the beginning of Nixon's de-escalation and ending with the fall of Saigon.
This final timeline functions as an epilogue exploring the continuiations of the Vietnam war and its music in consequences and reflections. As people and nations continue to grapple with the effects of the war on bodies, minds, and materials this will continue to be expanded.