On This Day, Jan. 12, 1966 – LBJ Says We’re Staying in Vietnam

LBJ Vietnam

1966President Lyndon Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there was ended.

How many times–in my lifetime and in yours–have the American people gathered, as they do now, to hear their President tell them of conflict and tell them of danger?

Each time they have answered. They have answered with all the effort that the security and the freedom of this Nation required.

And they do again tonight in Vietnam. Not too many years ago Vietnam was a peaceful, if troubled, land. In the North was an independent Communist government. In the South, a people struggled to build a nation, with the friendly help of the United States.

There were some in South Vietnam who wished to force Communist rule on their own people. But their progress was slight. Their hope of success was dim. Then, little more than 6 years ago, North Vietnam decided on conquest. And from that day to this, soldiers and supplies have moved from North to South in a swelling stream that is swallowing the remnants of revolution in aggression.

As the assault mounted, our choice gradually became clear. We could leave, abandoning South Vietnam to its attackers and to certain conquest, or we could stay and fight beside the people of South Vietnam. We stayed.

And we will stay until aggression has stopped.

We will stay because a just nation cannot leave to the cruelties of its enemies a people who have staked their lives and independence on America’s solemn pledge–a pledge which has grown through the commitments of three American Presidents.

We will stay because in Asia and around the world are countries whose independence rests, in large measure, on confidence in America’s word and in America’s protection. To yield to force in Vietnam would weaken that confidence, would undermine the independence of many lands, and would whet the appetite of aggression. We would have to fight in one land, and then we would have to fight in another–or abandon much of Asia to the domination of Communists.

And we do not intend to abandon Asia to conquest.

Last year the nature of the war in Vietnam changed again. Swiftly increasing numbers of armed men from the North crossed the borders to join forces that were already in the South. Attack and terror increased, spurred and encouraged by the belief that the United States lacked the will to continue and that their victory was near.

Despite our desire to limit conflict, it was necessary to act: to hold back the mounting aggression, to give courage to the people of the South, and to make our firmness clear to the North. Thus. we began limited air action against military targets in North Vietnam. We increased our fighting force to its present strength tonight of 190,000 men.

These moves have not ended the aggression, but they have prevented its success. The aims of the enemy have been put out of reach by the skill and the bravery of Americans and their allies–and by the enduring courage of the South Vietnamese who, I can tell you, have lost eight men last year for every one of ours.

The enemy is no longer close to victory. Time is no longer on his side. There is no cause to doubt the American commitment.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/jan-12-1966-lbjs-commitment-vietnam-12539723

 


1773 – The first public museum in America was established in Charleston, SC.

1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society was founded in London.

1879 – The British-Zulu War began when the British invaded Zululand.

1896 – At Davidson College, several students took x-ray photographs. They created the first X-ray photographs to be made in America.

1908 – A wireless message was sent long-distance for the first time from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

1915 – The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.

1915Congress established the Rocky Mountain National Park.


Hattie Carawy

1932 – Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.


1943 – The Office of Price Administration announced that standard frankfurters/hot dogs/wieners would be replaced by ‘Victory Sausages.’

1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not discriminate against law-school applicants because of race.

1949 – “Kukla, Fran and Ollie“, the Chicago-based children’s show, made its national debut on NBC-TV.

1960 – Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals became the first pro basketball player in the NBA to score more than 15,000 points in his career.

1966 – “Batman” debuted on ABC-TV.

1967 – “Dragnet” returned to NBC-TV after being off the network schedule for eight years.

1971 – “All In the Family” debuted on CBS-TV.

1973 – Yassar Arafat was re-elected as head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

1986 – Space shuttle Columbia blasted off with a crew that included the first Hispanic-American in space, Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz.

1991 – Congress passed a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military power to force Iraq out of Kuwait.

1995 – Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew announced that as of January 16 British troops would no longer carry out daylight street patrols in Belfast.

1998 – 19 European nations agreed to prohibit human cloning.

1999 – Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball was sold at auction in New York for $3 million to an anonymous bidder.

2000 – The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, gave police broad authority to stop and question people who run at the sight of an officer.

 

Source: On-This-Day.Com; Presidency.ucsb.edu; YouTube.com