Overview: 1969 to August 1974
Under the Nixon administration, the Vietnam War officially came to a close. Though Nixon had secretly begun talks with the North Vietnamese during Johnson’s presidency, in 1969 the scope of U.S. involvement expanded with bombing campaigns in Cambodia and incursions in Laos. At the same time, the administration worked to build up the South Vietnamese armed forces in order to allow for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops. During Nixon’s second term, the Vietnam War was officially ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
Domestically, student anti-war demonstrations intensified. The most infamous took place at Kent State; National Guard troops shot into a crowd of students and protesters, killing four. In 1971, the New York Times and Washington Post began publishing excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, a study on U.S. involvement in Vietnam compiled by the Department of Defense. Nixon administration attempts to quiet the scandal created by the publication of the papers became part of the wider Watergate investigation, leading to Nixon’s downfall and resignation in 1974.
President Richard Nixon with U.S. Army 1st Infantry
Division Troops during Visit to Dian, South Vietnam, 7/30/1969
Presidential Daily Diary, 1/21/1969 - 8/9/1974- The Daily Diary chronicles the activities of the President, from the time he left the private residence until he retired for the day, including personal and private meetings, events, social and speaking engagements, trips, telephone calls, meals, routine tasks, and recreational pursuits.
Vietnam- Correspondence from Richard Nixon to Nguyen Van Thieu- Letters between Nixon and the president of South Vietnam in 1972.
WHSF: Contested, 48-1- Analysis of public reaction to the publication of the Pentagon Papers.
February 10, 1973 - Nixon, Vice President Agnew- Discussion of the situation in Southeast Asia after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.
February 15, 1973 - Nixon, Defense Secretary Elliot Richardson and February 15, 1973 -Nixon, H.R. Haldeman- Meeting minutes from discussions of the reception of returning American POWs, and American attitudes toward the military and the “Nixon Doctrine.”
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.