The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident:
"UNITED STATES BOLSTERS FORCES PLANES AND MEN RUSHED TO ASIA Swift and sure has been U.S. retaliation for Communist PT-boat attacks on the high seas. The “Maddox” and the “C. Turner Joy” were attacked while patrolling international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin off north Viet Nam. War planes from two carriers avenged the unwarranted Red assault with 64 sorties against North Vietnam PT bases. Twenty-five boats – more than half the fleet – were destroyed and oil reserves badly damaged. President Lyndon Johnson went before the people to announce the U.S. action and Ambassador Adlai Stevenson reported to the United Nations. Meanwhile, a massive U.S. buildup is underway in Southeast Asia as people of all political faiths rally behind the President in this crisis."
Fifty years ago, in what came to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, North Vietnamese patrol boats attacked the U.S.S. Maddox. The events led to Congress passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed the president to increase U.S. involvement in Vietnam without Congressional approval. In this week’s Universal newsreel, the story, including President Johnson’s “Midnight Address” to the nation, takes up the entire six minute run time. You can find out more about the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which is currently on display at the National Archives, in this Prologue post.
The original Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building from July 15 to August 7, 2014.