37¢ Viet Nam War
Celebrate the Century – 1960s
Issue Date: September 17, 1999
City: Green Bay, WI
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
The Vietnam Independence League, called the Viet Minh, was started in 1921 as a party seeking freedom from France. Led by Ho Chi Minh, the Communist Viet Minh defeated the French in 1954, and settled north of the 17th parallel. The French and the Vietnamese who fought with the French went south of the 17th parallel. Ngo Dinh Diem became leader of the south in 1954.
Fearing the spread of Communism through Asia, the United States provided assistance to the authoritarian Diem regime. Diem’s policies were unpopular with the South Vietnamese people, and guerrilla warfare ravaged the south. In 1964, amid intense American sentiment against an undeclared war, Congress passed, almost unanimously, the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. It allowed President Johnson to take action to prevent further aggression. After 1965, the war escalated rapidly.
Despite advanced U.S. weapons and equipment, the enemy couldn’t be dislodged. Peace talks took place amid scattered fighting in 1968. A cease-fire agreement was reached in 1973, but the war continued and casualties remained high. One by one, South Vietnamese outposts were deserted, refugees fled, and the remaining Americans escaped. In 1976, the country was reunified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.