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notes from11/9 and 11/11

by: Kendall Mansfield

notes from11/9 and 11/11 HIST 2020

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Kendall Mansfield

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Survey of United States History Since 1877
Jennifer E. Brooks
Class Notes
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kendall Mansfield on Sunday November 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2020 at Auburn University taught by Jennifer E. Brooks in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Survey of United States History Since 1877 in History at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 11/15/15
Turning Point of 1968 Wednesday – Watergate; Friday quiz on Caputo Tonkin Gulf Resolution: st - 1 key turning point for US involvement in Vietnam: proceeded congress approving the US getting involved - Moment where it is justified that it is the US’s war too - US broke the Geneva Accord: by assisting in sabotage attacks against North Vietnam August 2 attack: - In reality it was provoked - Johnson said it was unprovoked to the citizens o A lot of dispute about whether there was a second attack or not but Johnson had already drafted this resolution and why he should be granted approval to bomb South Vietnam and send in US troops o Creates incident that allows him to make a case to congress for a great resolution for this – take all necessary measure against anything against the US Results of the Vote: 416 – 0 in the house after 45 minutes of debate Described as Grandma’s nightshirt because it covered everything - There was nothing he couldn’t do under this broad resolution - Declares war without actually declaring it Start to bomb North Vietnam first – hard thing to do In the context of the Cold War what was the trickiness of bombing North Vietnam? - Worried about the Chinese because they share a boarder and as known from the Korean conflict China will push back - In Korea they pushed the forces from North Korea back to South Korea - Relying on the bombing to stay away from the border and China o But Johnson does not want to get rid of his domestic programs § The Great Society: doesn’t want to rob funding from that for the war but also doesn’t want to lose the war How to escalate and avoid other problems? July 1965 his advisors told him they did not think it was a winnable war Learn from the French: poured in millions against Ho Chi Minh and the US gave aid for years and still they were not close to defeating them Strategy and Doubt: - Escalation under President Johnson: o Rolling Thunder + troop increases: Bombings of the Ho Chi Minh Trail § 9 people died on Ho Chi Minh trail in 1965 § This basically began an uninterrupted bombing campaign that would last until 1972 § Trying to make it impossible for them to move things along the Ho Chi Minh trail • Move to Cambodia because the US tries to avoid that but end up bombing it later on and brings a whole other country into the conflict - Starts pattern of if we bomb them enough and reek enough destruction it will force the North Vietnamese to end the war but it proves in WWII combined - Bombing was very ineffective – bomb some more ineffective mostly rural peasant farmers - Not many places that if bombed will cause a large impacts à ultimately bombing was ineffective because it’s a completely rural country very little development - Search and destroy missions à napalm etc. Doubts creeping in: - Nothing stems the flow of Vietcong or their will to endure Vietnam isn’t damaging their efforts of fighting and are very skilled at fighting Guerilla Warfare first against Chinese then the French - Massive use of artillery doesn’t damage their will to keep the fight going - Danag: need to protect the bases so they send in more troops How do you fight more effectively in South Vietnam: send marines into the jungle to find the Vietcong and attack them and then bring the Air Force in to bomb the jungle Protests at home against the war: - By the end of 1967 there are almost 500,000 US troops in Vietnam - Vietnam is a United Nations effort to some degree – not like Korea but there is some degree of involvement Caputo: model of war storming the beaches of Normandy - In WWII: Clear enemies, definite enemy, and a way to prove himself to his parents and get out of the boring suburban life he had been living and was bored of - The Graduate: movie that resembles Caputo and his disenchantment with suburban life - What was going on around the time that caputo joined the Marines à what did he have to gain by joining? Bombing the North and Setting up Bases in the South: - The Vietcong with the support of the Viet Minh can hide themselves in the jungle and come out at night and pick off the soldiers and attack and then disappear into the jungle – very hard to find - Search and Destroy Missions: o Main Problem: what does success look like in this war – hard to be able to tell if you are making gains o Send Caputo and others on these missions In WWII: - You knew you succeeded if you gained land - Invasion of France takes a while but the troops are gaining territory and moving towards Berlin - Were able to bomb places and destroy them and they would have an impact in the country War of Attrition: wearing down the enemy - Trying to dramatically increase the human cost of continuing the war effort - How do we do that? - Cant bomb factories, towns, or that sort of thing because they do not exist in large number US Quantifies Success by: the number of enemy dead and measure it against their own dead - Strategy of the American Effort: o Body count of dead Vietnamese o Fighting an enemy that is doesn’t look like the South Vietnamese Army – wear clearly distinctive military uniforms Vietcong: - Guerilla Army: look like civilians do not wear a military uniform wear usually black pajama looking pants and shirt with flip flops o What most Vietnamese peasants wear o Makes it hard to distinguish Vietcong from civilians and are under pressure to kill and gain a high body count - Overtime as the fight gets uglier and even more stressful it becomes the intent to kill anyone who looks like civilians o Start to attack civilians and Vietcong - Vietcong has their own agenda o Need popular support o Make sure peasants are not giving aid and support to South Vietnamese and the US - Pressure is ugly: o Often force civilians to support them and will attack collaborators and there is cost to be paid for supporting either side o If you support Vietcong you could be retaliated against by the South Vietnamese and US o If you support the US and South Vietnamese the Vietcong will retaliate against you § Its an either or situation in which either way you will be retaliated against by one side or the other - If its dead and it Vietnamese it’s a Vietcong o How the US troops thought and the mindset they had when fighting o They did not pay attention to if they were really Vietcong or civilians their mission was to search and destroy - General Westmoreland: o Was able t report to President Johnson that they are being successful and killing a large amount of people § High kill rate, making advances, victory is around the corner and Lyndon B Johnson tells the US citizens this - Johnson had no overall strategy for how to win the war and was a micromanager – almost too involved but not involved enough in conceptualizing a way to end the war House of Cards: prior to 1968 the general public believed the story they heard from the administration - Journalists accepted what Johnson said at face value - Media coverage today is not the same as it was then: very strong media coverage and censorship in Wars today because of the media coverage during the Vietnam War - Images shown during Vietnam War: o American Troops being killed shown on TV from what it looked like after a fight, coffins ß not seen today o More glaring shock when there is a transition about media coverage 1968: General Westmoreland is talking about victory being around the Corner the TET Offensive occurs TET: 1965 - Turning Point: o Victory no longer “just around the corner” § Maybe it never was - Supposed to be a temporary cease fire for the Vietnamese holiday - Clear the something is very wrong - Vietcong attacks every US base and the US embassy compound in Saigon o Hand to hand combat takes place o Covered by the media - Westmoreland: calls it a Vietcong defeat/victory o Calls it a victory due to the number of Vietnamese people killed o Vietcong lose all the land that they gained pretty quickly o Huge risk for Vietcong that didn’t pay off physically but is a huge mental attack and shows the US that the US troops are not on the brink of victory o Diversionary TET was a Major Cause of Media coverage in US: media and journalists start to ask harder questions - Newline Massacre: o Massacre of about 400 men women and children o Cover-up of this event and when it is exposed it is a major deal on international news § Lots of American journalists in Vietnam - Credibility Gap: Cronkite o Walter Cronkite: most popular TV journalist of the age § Most trusted man in America § News Anchor on either ABC or CBS • Pre-cable TV; not many channels o TET: § Event raised serious questions in his mind and he went to South Vietnam and spent time interviewing officials and troops asked what is going on and how do we end this § Found what he learned disturbing and voices publically what he thinks of the war and speaks of how the US involvement in the war should end with negotiation as people who did the best they could to defend democracy § News Anchor making the case to get out, without losing honor and face internationally - Credibility Gap: gap between what the administration is saying and what the people believe to be true o No one knew how to win this war – we need to pull out § Cronkite coins this term - George Jacobson: Head of the Pacification Program in Vietnam o During the TET invasion on the US Embassy he had a Vietcong in his house o The Vietcong put gas into his house Virtually impossible to hold onto land Bombing caused: - Vietnamese to build tunnels in order avoid the bombing o In these tunnels the Vietcong keep their supplies and people/soldiers in the tunnels to hide and remain safe from the bombings Wisemen: - Made up of people who had served in various capacities since the Truman Administration and privately advised Johnson throughout his terms and even before he became president - Clark Clifford: Johnson sends him to interview about where are they and what they need to do to win the war - Response: disturbing to them, basically conclude that a classic victory was not possible - Dean Atchison: Cold War Warrior interviews a US General who says the classic military victory isn’t possible and explodes asking what the hell are 500,000 troops doing in Vietnam o End up meeting with Johnson: Atchison as spokes person and says he has been mislead by his military and civilian advisors § No one knows how to end/ win the conflict and the war is not going well for the US Mounting protest against the war in the US: Causes Johnson to be seen as a political liability to any effort to end the war and maintain domestic harmony - Johnson decides not to run for re-election starts negotiating with North Vietnam - Ultimately leads to division of the Democrats between Hubert Humphrey and McCarthy o Due to the division Nixon and Republicans win the election in 1968 Nixon: - Campaigns and says he has a secret plan to end the war o In reality he only has a plan for a plan to end the war - Vietnamization: increase bombing of north and increase the SV ability to start fighting alone o Backfires and bombs Cambodia but brings an end to American involvement o Vietnamization is Nixon’s “secret plan” he campaigned about to end the war The Watergate Scandal: In context of developing anti war protests in the US Lots of myths about the impact of the Vietnam War at home: - Everyone who fought for the US came home and were horribly mistreated: o Some people had this experience but it was not universal – actually very rare to find a case like this o With the troops in Vietnam they didn’t come home all at once there were tours of about a year and then they returned home as individuals with no support group - What contributed to the treatment of how they were treated upon returning home: o No real evident ending of the war o Unpopular war with a very vocal minority people who were supportive throughout the war had a lot of doubts by the time of the Watergate scandal o Made it difficult for the troops to share their experiences and feel a sense of isolation o Educational, mortgage support and then coming back as a veteran left in isolation and without support is common, even for some WWII veterans § Veteran’s administration o Support depends on who you are, where you are, and what war you served in o Vast majority of veterans do not come home and then become the stereotypical veteran that suffers from PTSD o Veterans committing suicide President Richard Nixon: - Structure of war and growing unpopularity of the war added to a context to Nixon that made his paranoia greater - Very isolated individual - Difficult to be president during the war – what brings his administration down Scandal is such a major part of US politics Watergate was the first and only scandal that brought down a presidential administration that ended in resignation Much more significant in the crimes committed compared to any other scandals: - Not saying there aren’t any other presidents who violated the constitution, but Nixon got caught - Greenville, Tennessee: hometown of President Johnson – sign at the museum that says only president to be impeached until Bill Clinton and his sex scandal o Nixon resigned to escape that fate by resigning office – though he deserved to be impeached Where does Watergate fit into our narrative? - Second administration to be brought down by the Cold War – after Johnson was impeached - Truman was almost brought down by the Cold War – but wasn’t due to African Americans living outside the south Main point: political and domestic fall-out of the Cold War - Legacy of Vietnam War - Media become more critical, and frames media on looking for scandals in politics – cable news does this as well - Complete and utter cynicism of the media - Searching for things to go wrong Timeline of Key Events: - Discovery of break-in at Watergate Hotel and connection to Nixon re- election committee - Appointment by President of Special Investigator - Dean Testimony: president involved - Butterfield Testimony: o Tapes could prove it because every conversation in the Oval Office was recorded o Whether Nixon knew about the breaking and tried to cover it up o Battle over tapes: Nixon loses support among his own constituency in the GOP o Impeachment proceedings in House begin o Leading Republicans notify President he will be impeached o Nixon was re-elected in 1972 before the impeachment process began/ he resigned - Nixon Resigns: first and only President to resign from office Creators of CREEPS “black ops”: - CREEP: committee - G. Gordon Liddy: o Involved in security operations and proposes activities to protect Nixon’s political interests and is part of the PLUMBERS – chief operative; had a wild imagination o During Watergate he proposed as a way to draw attention away from the scandal a plan in which he would be assassinated on a street corner o Most ideas rejected: but one to break into a psychiatrists office to look for information to leak to the press and clear Daniel Ellsberg o Pentagon Papers: § Daniel Ellsberg: • Was alarmed about Vietnam and felt that the Johnson Administration was a false account • Analyst who stole copies of classified documents and began leaking them over time to create a different idea of what was going on in Vietnam - Operation Gem Stone: - Asked John Mitchell the Attorney General at the time for one million dollars to do black ops against Nixon’s enemies got $250,000 and decided to break in and bug the democratic office phones in the Watergate Hotel so they could listen to conversations about the campaign and would be able to be one step ahead - Plumbers: stop leaks of information that would hurt Nixon’s chances at being re-elected - James McCord: Liddy recruits him to help him with Watergate o Wire tap Larry Obrien o 1972 bugs are put into the phones and listen to around 200 phone calls they learn 2 things - Vietnam Veterans Against the War: - One of the most vocal components group of veterans who were against what was happening in Vietnam and formed this group o John Kerry: secretary of state was a member of this group o Bob Kerry: former senator was a member as well o Thorn in the side of the Nixon Administration - One of the bugs that had been placed was broken and needed to be replaced o Decided to go back in and fix the malfunctioning bug and replace it with a new one in hopes of getting more information o Frank Wills: June 17 , 1972 security guard at the Watergate Hotel notices a door with a lock was open and there is duct tape over the lock and thinks it the janitorial staff who did it so that they can clean and takes it off and shuts the door o Returns an hour later to find the duct tape back on the lock and calls the police and says that someone broke into the Watergate Complex - Police come and catch 5 men: Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzales, Eugenio Martinez James McCord, and Frank Sturgis o Virgilio Gonzales and Eugenio Martinez were used to try to assassinate Castro and bay of pigs - One man upon arrest empties pockets and has his address book in his pocket with all the names and numbers of everyone involved in this - Howard Hunt: o Name was in the address book o Worked in the Nixon Administration – connected the burglars to the Nixon Administration o Comes out gradually due to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein work for Washington Post – have a secret investigator due to Deep Throat from a porn film from the 1970’s not discovered until decades later who he really was - Bernstein, Woodward and Deep Throat meet secretly and write up stories about the Watergate break in and what deep throat learns o Deep Throat: W. Mark Felt § Around 10 years ago Deep Throat’s identity was revealed by his daughter when he had Alzheimer’s and died shortly after and she knew that it would not put him in danger - Every morning there is a story in the Washington Post having to do with Nixon and Watergate – becoming a more major liability - Leak tells Woodward that Senior Aids to Nixon paid the burglars money to keep quiet and had been paid to break into the office to get information on Nixon’s opponents o Suggesting crimes were committed that violated the constitution by Nixon and his Aids – and if the President had tried to cover it up o Cant use CIA to investigate American citizens at this time o Congress becomes involved - Senator Sam Ervin: Democrat from North Carolina, Senate Investigating Committee - Begins to subpoena White House Staff: o Watergate made the journalistic careers for Woodward and Bernstein o Nixon has to ask for the resignation of John Haldeman and John Ehrlichman because it appeared they had involvement in the cover-up § Caught paying hush money to the burglar’s families § They were the only ones he talked to – chief of staff – as well as Henry Kissinger who was his National Security Adviser - John Dean: perjured himself and once fired he becomes the key witness against Nixon and his administration - Archibald Cox: who Nixon appoints to be the Special Independent Counsel to get to the bottom of the issue - Elliott Richardson: Appointed as Attorney General Chose Cox for the Special Independent Counsel - Not many people talked directly to Nixon - ABC, Fox, and NBC: o As long as the hearings are in session it is being shown on TV by one of these stations o Takes the scandal to the American people and they are far more informed about what is going on in the scandal more than any other scandal before or after Watergate o They could watch it as it occurred and it tends to damage Nixon’s political reputation - Howard Baker: Republican from Tennessee and Fred Thompson (who died last week, actor on Law and Order) cut his political teeth because Howard Baker was a key member of the senate committee hearing the Watergate Scandal - Question: what did the president know and when did he know it? Asked every witness this question to keep the focus on the presidents involvement o Did he participate in the break in and the cover-up? - Alexander Butterfield: Deputy Assistant to the president o Told the senate committee about the taping system in the Oval Office o Wasn’t shared with the press that the taping system was there mostly because all presidents have a public persona and a private reality of who they really are Transforms the scandal and hearings o Will prove who is telling the truth Nixon or John Dean - Nixon refuses to do this: o Justification for not turning the tapes over was National Security and Executive Privilege sets up constitutional challenge o Supreme court gets involved constitutional challenge because of the tapes - Saturday Night Massacre: find someone to fire Cox - Robert Bork: acting Attorney General (Solicitor General) to fire Cox and he agrees in 1973 – painful lesson because it prevents his nomination to be a Supreme Court Justice Johnson and Nixon: - Exceedingly profane men had less than positive things to say about the American people and did not want people having access to it - Wanted a historical record to be able to refer to - Tapes are now declassified and are available to listen to at the Miller center - Thompson spoke to the aids during the hearings and learned there was a taping system in the Oval office and relayed this message to the senate committee - Why is Nixon so certain he can’t let the tapes go? o Ends up turning the tapes over, however one tape has a key moment missing 18.5 minutes that are missing as well as a key 5 minutes o Nixon throws his secretary under the bus § Rose Mary Woods: Nixon’s secretary, shows how she accidentally deleted the parts of the tape when trying to answer the phone and held her foot on the pedal for 18.5 minutes • Forensics proved she erased it 12 times so that nothing could be picked up off the tape Articles of Impeachment passed in the House: July 7, 1974 - Obstruction of Justice - Abuse of Power - Defiance OF Subpoenas Senator Barry Goldwater: Messenger and friend of Nixon given the task of telling Nixon he needed to resign - Everything Nixon did in his life was to groom himself to become President Gerald Ford: VP of Nixon who becomes President after he resigns - Pardons Nixon as his first act of office when he becomes President - Sends many people to prison that were involved in the scandal - Watergate: Reveals a lot about who Nixon was as a politician – big gap between who he portrayed himself as to the public and who he really was o Why the word gate follows scandals § Clinton: Zipper gate


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