Originally published 03/26/2013
Before Vietnam became synonymous to 1970s Americans with a seemingly endless war, it might have conjured images of French wines and big game hunting. In the early 1960s, the U.S. government tried to encourage tourism in Vietnam in elsewhere in Southeast Asia as a sort of travel diplomacy."Tourism's proper development, it was believed, could serve important U.S. geostrategic objectives," writes University of Minnesota history professor Scott Laderman in his 2009 book Tours of Vietnam: War, Travel Guides, and Memory. Friendly American faces could soften the reputation of the U.S. overseas, it was thought, and their souvenir purchases might bolster emerging economies....[H]ere are some highlights from a 1961 travel brochure for the country, aptly titled "Visit Fascinating Vietnam," stored at archive.org and apparently housed at one point by the University of Texas....
Originally published 03/16/2013
By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands".The BBC's former Washington correspondent Charles Wheeler learned of this in 1994 and conducted a series of interviews with key Johnson staff, such as defence secretary Clark Clifford, and national security adviser Walt Rostow.But by the time the tapes were declassified in 2008 all the main protagonists had died, including Wheeler.Now, for the first time, the whole story can be told.It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign….
Originally published 01/28/2013
Nguyen Khanh, a South Vietnamese general who briefly seized control of the government before being deposed and sent into exile, died on Jan. 11 in San Jose, Calif. He was 86.The cause was health problems related to diabetes, according to a statement from Chanh Nguyen Huu, who succeeded General Khanh as head of a self-described South Vietnamese government in exile in California.General Khanh’s rise to power in the 1960s, and his ultimate defeat, came during a period of deep political turmoil in South Vietnam, marked by several coup attempts in which he played a role....
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