Overview: August 1974 to 1976

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Although Nixon had officially ended US military involvement, Vietnam continued to be an ongoing concern for the Ford Administration through the Fall of Saigon in April, 1975.


The administration's efforts to avert the Communist overrun of South Vietnam were met with indifference to outright opposition. There was little support for financial aid in Congress, and even less for a proposed Congressional delegationhttps://catalog.archives.gov/id/1552953to Vietnam.  (Ford was still trying to organize the trip into March of 1975.)


The military defeat of South Vietnam in in the spring of 1975 sparked a massive evacuation of US personnel and Vietnamese allies, known as Operation Frequent Wind.  In the wake of the refugee crisis this sparked, Congress did approve humanitarian aid and eventually many Vietnamese settled in the United States.


Though many prisoners of war had been repatriated in 1973 after the conclusion of the war, the issue of the treatment POWs and American soldiers missing in action (MIA) continued to play a significant role in US foreign policy, leading the US to lobby against Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s acceptance as a member state in the United Nations through the end of the Ford administration

   President Gerald R. Ford Holding a Refugee Baby on an Evacuation

Bus at San Francisco International Airport Following the Arrival of an

Operation Babylift Plane from South Vietnam, 4/5/1975


Catalog Resources:

East Asia and Pacific Country Files, 1974 – 1977- Materials prepared for and by President Gerald R. Ford's National Security Adviser and National Security Council staff. Include discussions of the Vietnam War and its effects in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.


Vietnam - Question and Answer Briefing Sheets (1975)- National Security Council materials, from the papers of Richard (Dick) Cheney.


Memorandum from Clinton E. Granger to Brent Scowcroft Regarding a Report on Vietnam, 4/5/1975- Report on situation in South Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon.


Amnesty - Ford Foundation Study of Effects of Vietnam on Veterans, Deserters and Evaders- 1974 study of the psychological, economic, social situation of veterans and anti-war activists, and recommendations of activities for the Ford Foundation.


1975/05/23 HR6894 Making Appropriations for Special Assistance to Refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam- Congressional appropriation for refugee resettlement and relocation.

This blog is just a sample of the information available in the National Archives catalog. For more tips on searching for digitized records in the catalog, check out this post on Expanding Your Digital Toolkit.