2 - The Tonkin Incident(s)

September 06, 2017
President Lyndon B. Johnson on the telephone

President Lyndon B. Johnson on the telephone


LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

Twice in six weeks, in the late summer of 1964, U.S. destroyers reported they were under unprovoked attack, by North Vietnamese PT boats, while on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin. The first incident produced a massive airstrike in retaliation, and three days later, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which changed the course of the Vietnam War. The second attack produced...no response at all.  Did Lyndon Johnson learn something along the way?   

Featured commentator: Chris Appy, author of Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides and Professor of History at UMass Amherst.