The Sage of Black Rock

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite underwent a dramatic change of heart during the Vietnam War—and in doing so, changed the face of broadcast journalism

On February 6, 1965, Vietcong guerrillas attacked the U.S. base at Pleiku, killing eight American soldiers and wounding 126. The Johnson administration quickly retaliated, commencing another vicious cycle of lightning reprisals and military escalations. Suddenly U.S. “advisers” in Vietnam were recognized as combat troops; 23,000 U.S. personnel grew to 181,000 by the year’s end. On March 8 CBS Reports broadcast an hour-long debate between pro-war Sen. Gale McGee (D-WY) and antiwar Sen. George McGovern (D-SD).Read more »

The Meaning Of Tet

A historian argues that in Vietnam America’s cause was just, its arms effective, and its efforts undermined critics back home—and that this is how things must work in a free society

MORE THAN 2,000 YEARS AGO, THUCYDIDES wrote in his history The Peloponnesian War a passage about the Athenian campaign in Sicily that summarizes not only the conflict between Athens and Sparta from 431 to 404 B.C. but the war between the United States and Vietnam from A.D. 1965 to 1973.

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