Five Important Events of the 1960s
During the 1960s the world was hit with four different assassinations of some of the leaders in the world who were out to change the way things were. Although some disagreed to the changes that they were trying to do and even threatened them, they still continued to pursue their idea of change.
Ngo Dinh Diem became the first president of South Vietnam in 1956 he was a catholic who opposed Communism and sought for an independent Vietnam while it was under French power. Although he was viewed as brutal, corrupt, and prejudice against non-Catholics and Buddhists, he did however help make Vietnam an independent country from France and help prevent Communist rule over all of Vietnam. In 1933 Ngo Dinh Diem was appointed Minister of the Interior by Emperor Bao Dai, at the same time during the 1930s Ngo Dinh Diem began to disapprove of the French rule over Vietnam. He decided to leave the government and follow the many Vietnamese nationalists who were also against French rule. In 1950 he left Vietnam and headed for the U.S. after Vietnam had fallen under rule of Viet Minh in August of 1945, seeing Communism as a threat to his values as a Catholic and to an independent Vietnam. President Dwight D. Eisenhowers administration fearing Communist takeovers in Southeast Asia saw Ngo Dinh Diem as a Vietnamese nationalist capable of overturning Communist Viet Minh. In 1954 Viet Minh defeated the French and he won control of Northern Vietnam, thus splitting the country in half. Southern Vietnam remained under the control of Emperor Bao Dai, who was supported by the U.S. greatly. The U.S. appointed Ngo Dinh Diem as Prime Minister under Bao Dai. In 1956 elections were held in South Vietnam and Ngo Dinh Diem was elected the first president of the newly established Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The U.S. military was sent into South Vietnam to form and train an army for the republic, thus becoming the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). While Ngo Dinh Diem was president he forcibly moved peasants and rural villagers from their homes and put them into controlled settlements in order to suppress Communist activities. He also drafted all males from the villages into the ARVN. As a result of his acts a group called the National Liberation Front (NLF) was formed in order to overthrow his power as president. Ngo Dinh Diem was also prejudice against non-Catholics and extremely prejudice against the Buddhists, and often denied them of positions in the government. He would also give government positions to his family, such as his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu who headed up the National Police. Ngo Dinh Nhu was a gangster, and often trafficked drugs and promoted prostitution. In May 1963, Buddhists formed large demonstrations against Ngo Dinh Diem. During one of these demonstrations the National Police killed 9 people, in protest against the killings Buddhist monks set themselves on fire, and burned themselves to death. After the killings and after the protests of the Buddhist burnings, Ngo Dinh Diem lost his U.S. support and viewed him as an embarrassment to the U.S. also that his government was brutal and corrupt. On November 2, 1963 a group of ARVN generals took over Ngo Dinh Diem government and with the USs support, assassinated Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. The major effect of Ngo Dinh Diems assassination was that it led North Vietnam to its victory over South Vietnam because of political confusion caused by the assassination during the Vietnam War. It also led to the expansion of the NLF, which aided the North Vietnamese in over throwing the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected president in 1961 he became the youngest person ever to be elected president. Although his presidency was cut short and he only got to serve 3 years, he was one of Americas greatest presidents. During his presidency he influenced the world, young people looked up to him, brought back old traditions of the United States government, fought for the equal rights of all humans despite their racial background and the color of their skin. He also prevented a Nuclear War and possibly World War III from developing during the Cuban missile crisis. In a speak he said Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americansborn in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritageand unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. He was committed to changing this country and influencing the world to change for the better that no human rights shall be denied to anyone. Were he called for a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved. He realized that this was going to be a hard thing to do, and that he wouldnt be president to carryout but he still new he had to start it and he announced that too. He said All this will not be finished in the first 100 days, nor will it be finished in the first 1000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. Then on November 22, 1963 tragedy struck the U.S. and the world. President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy were in Dallas, Texas riding in a open convertible on the way to have lunch with Texas Governor John Connally and Connallys wife who were riding with them in the convertible. Out of nowhere two shots were fired rapidly at the president, he was hit in the neck, where the bullet then hit Governor Connally in the back, the second bullet hit the president directly in the head. John Kennedy was rushed to the hospital but never gained consciousness, at 1:00PM he was declared dead.On the 24th of November, John F. Kennedys body was carried through the streets of Washington D.C. as more then 1 million people watched as it passed by. At Kennedys funeral in Arlington National Cemetery hundreds of thousands of people including representatives of 92 different nations. On President Kennedys grave marker was an eternal flame, which will burn forever in memorial of him. The assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, who worked in the warehouse where the shots had been fired from a window on the sixth floor. While he was being transferred to a different jail, Jack Ruby a nightclub owner in Dallas shot and killed Oswald. The major effect of John F. Kennedys assassination came two hours after President Kennedy was pronounced dead, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as president. Lyndon B. Johnson was said to be a masterful politician. He fought a way against poverty though out the United States. On his State of the Union address, on January 8, 1964, He said his office today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America, and I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort. To do so he created programs to help the poor like Neighborhood Health Care Facilities. Also during his presidency Medi-care and Medi-aid were created to help the elderly and the poor. The most profound effect of John F. Kennedys assassination will never be known, for we will never know what changes might have occurred, or effects that he might have had on the world if he had never been assassinated. One effect is for sure, that no President of the United States will ever ride in a open convertible again without the fear of being attacked.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a American clergyman, Nobel Prize winner, the main leader in the civil rights movement, and a advocate of nonviolent protests. He challenged segregation and racial discrimination during the 1950s and 1960s. He also successful in convincing whites to support the civil rights cause throughout the U.S. and the world. He had excellent public-speaking abilities, were he was praised for having powerful impression on the people he was speaking too, by doing so he was able to influence the people of color to protest nonviolently against discrimination towards them. In 1954, he became pastor at a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where he used his speaking skills and his intellectual influence to promote and encourage nonviolent protest against discrimination. In 1955, he was chosen as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), which directed the Montgomery bus boycott between 1955 to 1956. He was able to make a positive impression on whites outside the south, by not fighting back when attacked while protesting. In February of 1956, he was able to get the federal court to rule that city buses must be desegregated. In 1957 he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization of black churches and ministers that sought to stop racial segregation. The SCLC encouraged the use of nonviolent protests directly against discrimination, such as marches, demonstrations, and boycotts. By doing so he provoked some whites to act out violently against the protesters, which lead to the federal government to confront the discrimination and racism. King was able to make connections with radical activists such as the American Communist Party, who gave him advice and supplied him with money to fund protests. He also met with white Protestant leaders and other white public figures to help him in stopping discrimination. On August 28, 1963, He delivered a speech in Washington D.C. during a massive protest of more than 200,000 supporters. The speech he gave will be remembered forever, the I Have a Dream speech. During the speech he was noted for these statements, I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. As a result of his speech a political momentum was created, and soon following was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act prohibited segregation in public accommodations, and discrimination in education and employment. Kings speeches against discrimination and teachings of nonviolence protests, won him a Nobel Prize for peace in 1964. Later in 1965, king and the SCLC marched from Selma, Alabama to the capital of Alabama, Montgomery more then 50 miles away to join a voting-rights protest. 300 people made the whole trip taking 5 days to complete and when they arrived in Montgomery they were joined by 20,000 people in front of the capital building were King led the protest. Later President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which banned the use of voter qualification tests that were used often to prevent blacks from registering to vote. King later focused on discrimination in housing and employment in the cities, and moved his headquarters to Chicago. Then in 1967 he started to protest for a redistribution of the nations wealth to help solve the problem of black poverty.
On April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, while he was supporting garbage workers on strike, he was shot and killed by a sniper, James Earl Ray. The effects of the assassination were felt almost immediately shock and anger swept the U.S. and the world, riots broke out in hundreds of U.S. cities in the days after his death. King has become to represent black courage and achievement, speaking skills, leadership skills, and the ability to influence others to change. Several memorials have be built for him including Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Social Justice, a research institute located in Atlanta another memorial in Atlanta is Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, where his birthplace, the Ebenezer Church, and the King Center, where his tomb is located. Then in 1983 Congress dedicated a National Holiday in his honor on the third Monday of January.
Robert Francis Kennedy was a great U.S. political leader and Senator, were he was extremely concerned with the problems of urban ghettos and of the poor and disadvantaged.He attended Harvard and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948, and was later awarded a LL.B. degree from the University of Virginia in 1951. Later in 1951 he was made an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1952 he helped manage his brother John F. Kennedys senatorial campaign. After John F. Kennedy was elected president, Robert was appointed U.S. attorney general, while in office he fought on the enforcement of civil rights laws. He later resigned in 1964, and later that year he was elected U.S. senator from New York. As senator he continued to fight for civil rights, and work on the problems in the ghettos and with the poor. During the spring of 1968 he was campaigning for the Democratic Party nomination. In June of 1968, he had won major primaries in Indiana, Nebraska, and California. While leaving a celebration in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968 after the California primary was assured that he would win, he was shot. The next day on June 6, 1968 he died after being shot by Jerusalem-born Jordanian Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. His gravesite is in Arlington National Cemetery near John F. Kennedys gravesite. If Robert F. Kennedy was never shot, he may have become president, and bought new changes to the U.S., for he is known for saying in one of his speeches Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?
Advancement in Science and Technology
One of the biggest achievements in science and technology was the invention of the laser. The idea of the laser and how it would work was first invented by Albert Einstein in 1917. The first laser was outlined by the American physicists Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes that were patented in 1958. But a working laser was never seen until 1960 when the American physicist Theodore Maiman observed the first laser in action. Then in 1961 a helium-neon gas laser was built by the American physicist Ali Javan. Later in 1966 a liquid laser was constructed by the American physicist Peter Sorokin.
In industry lasers are being used on all types of different things ranging from cutting to monitoring earth movements. Powerful laser beams can be focused on a very small spot, where the laser can be used to heat, melt, cut, or vaporize material with very precise accuracy. For example lasers are used to drill holes in diamonds, shape machine tools, cut microelectronics, and create semiconductor chips. Lasers are also being used in an attempt to create controlled nuclear fusion. The short laser pulses allow for high-speed photography, and laser beams are also being used for accurate alignment on construction sites. Lasers are being used to study the movement of the earth to study earthquakes and are also very effective detectors of air pollution. Also lasers have been used to determine the distance between the earth and the moon and other planets too.
Lasers are also used for scientific research in the study of molecules and chemical analysis. Scientists can use lasers to measure changes in molecular structures of matter to better study and analyze molecules. Also by using lasers the speed of light has been determined accurately. Chemical reactions can be selectively caused in controlled environments to study chemical analysis.
Lasers can be used for communication too, lasers can carry more information and move it faster then any other form of communication. Lasers can be sent on long distances without losing information and little reduction in strength. Lasers can carry 1000x more information then the older forms of communication such as microwaves, so they are ideal for space communication. Fiber optics were develop to send lasers throughout the earth sending telephone calls and computer information across the planet at incredible speeds. Lasers are also used to record information on CDs and read information off them too.
In medicine intense laser beams are being used to do medical procedures. Doctors are using lasers to cut, repair and destroy certain tissues without damaging the surrounding healthy tissues.
Also in the military lasers are being used as guidance systems. The guidance systems are used for missiles, aircraft, and satellites for accurate location of targets. Laser beams have been proposed for use against hostile ballistic missiles as a defense system. Lasers are also being used to trigger an atom or molecule to separate isotopes to build nuclear weapons.
Although lasers were still being studied in the 1960s and didnt have any major effect during the 1960s, they have had a major effect in all fields of work starting in the 1980s, and the possibilities for use of lasers is endless.
Arab-Israeli Conflict; The Six Day War
On May 14, 1948, Israel became independent, thus triggering conflicts to become a full-scale war between Israel and the Arab States. The Arab States claimed that Israel was on their territory and that they wanted it back. The Arab States included Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. The first war between the Arab States and Israel was between May 14, 1948 and January 7, 1949 where a cease-fire was announced.
In 1956, Israel became convinced that the Arab States with the Soviet Union on their side were preparing for war and Israeli with the United States, Great Britain, and France on their side they prepared for an attack. On October 29, 1956, Israel attacked Egypts Sinai Peninsula. Israel captured the Gaza strip and Sharm el Sheikh, after capturing these they withdrew and turned them over to the UN in 1957.
Between 1957 and 1960 conflicts between the Arab States and Israel were calm. Then during the 1960s Arab nationalists, Egypt and Jordan wanting to destroy Israel supported Palestinian guerrillas who attacked troops and civilians in Israeli territory. In April of 1967 Syria after bombing Israeli villages began to fight Israel in aerial battles. Israel shot down six MiG Syrian planes, which were given to Syrian from the USSR. Israel warned Syria about attacking again, Syria then turned to Egypt for help. Egypt in May moved 100,000 troops and 1000 tanks to Israels southern border the Sinai Peninsula. UN forces were stationed around the area but on May 17th Egypt asked that the UN troops be removed, the UN did so. Then on the 22nd Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran, which was a major shipping route for Israel and cut off major sources of petroleum. Back in 1956, Israel had declared that if the canal was ever closed again they would consider it an act of war. Soon following Egypt and Jordan put their armies under one command. Because Israel didnt want to fight a three front war between Egypt, Jordan, and Syria and wanting to fight over Arab territory, Israel decided to attack first. On June 5, 1967 at 8:45AM the Israeli air force attacked Egyptian military and air bases. Israeli forces destroyed 309 of Egypts 340 aircraft. On the ground Israeli troops invaded the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip. Egypt suffered heavy casualties but Israeli suffered a few causalities. Egypt told the Egyptians and Jordanians told Egypt had won the battles, even though that was not so. At 11:00AM Jordan believing that Egypt had won, Jordan launched an attack against Israels side of Jerusalem, which had been split in half years ago. Israelis air force then moved in on Jordans military and air bases, and nearly destroyed it completely. At 12:00am of June 6th Israeli troops began to take back Jordans Jerusalem and by morning had taken back the city. By now Israelis air force had destroyed 2/3 of the Arab States air forces. At 10:00AM on the 6th Israeli troops had taken back the Wailing Wall in the Old City, which is a holy place in Judaism for the first time in 2000 years. On June 7th Jordan troops had retreated across the Jordan River. That night the UN declared cease-fire between Jordan and Israel. On June 8th Israeli troops made it to the Suez Canal and gained control of the canal. The Egyptians were retreating back to Egypt, but along the way back to Egypt, Israelis air force continued to bomb them. On the 9th Israel began their attack on Syria and began to surround the Syrias troops. Then on June 10th at 6:30, Israel and Syria made a cease-fire agreement. The fighting between Israel and Egypt didnt end until 1979, even though Israeli controlled the Sinai Peninsula.
Israels attack on the Arab States (Egypt, Jordan and Syria) was devastating to the Arabs. The Arabs lost almost all of their air forces and military weaponry. In Sinai and Gaza more then 10,000 Egyptians were killed but only 300 Israeli were killed. Overall Egypt lost 11,000, Syria lost 1000, Jordan lost 6000 and Israel only lost 700. As a result the Soviets who had supplied the Arab States with weapons, realized that their weapons were inferior to the Western weapons used by the Israeli forces. This embarrassed the Soviets and pushed them to improve their weapons thus continuing the Cold War. On November 22nd the UN passed Resolution 242, which told Israeli forces to move out of the territories occupied during the war, and said that the Arab States had to recognize Israels independence and guarantee that Israels borders remain secure. Neither side followed Resolution 242, and the Arab States said that they would continue to fight against Israel. Israel began to build up defenses along the occupied territories borders and around Jerusalem and also announced that they intended to make Jerusalem their capital. This caused conflicts between the two and in 1973 led to war, the Yom Kippur War. Resolution 242 even though it was not obeyed it helped the peace process and showed results in the late 1970s. But then in 1978 Palestinian guerrillas launched an air raid on Israel from Lebanon, Israel then sent in troops to Southern Lebanon to protect Israels border. Later in 1982 Israel sent troops into So. Lebanon to destroy all military bases belonging to Palestinian guerrillas (Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)). The war lasted for 10 weeks and ended in West Beirut, when the Palestinians were forced to accept a U.S. plan where the PLO had to leave Beirut. Israel left Lebanon in 1985 but still has border protection between Lebanon and Israel at the northern part of the border.
As a result of the Six Day War, two more wars have been caused, more then 18,700 people were killed, and conflicts still exist between the Arab States and Israel. Also after the Six Day War was over the Soviets now had an idea of the U.S. military technology, and now knew what they had to do to improve their own weapons. The Soviets also knew somewhat on what the U.S. technology was capable of doing during wartime. The U.S. however realized that their military technology was superior to that of the Soviets.
The space race was a battle between the Soviet Union and the U.S. on whom would conquer space first, by getting a man to the moon and to put spy satellites in the earths orbit to keep an eye on each other. The U.S. space program began on October 1, 1958 when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA was inaugurated. Their task was to oversee a civilian space program, and beat the Soviets in what was to become the space race. The Soviets were the first to send an object into space by sending the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 in October 4, 1957. The world viewed this as a great achievement in the advancement of science. The U.S. government didnt view this as a great achievement but as a threat to the U.S. defense. This showed the U.S. that the Soviets had advances in the design and construction of rocket-propelled ballistic missiles. By being able to send a satellite (Sputnik 1) weighing 184 pounds into space it surely showed that the Soviets had the means to construct missiles capable of equal distances of the satellite if not more. Soon following the Soviets launched yet another satellite, Sputnik 2 into space, this time weighing 1120 pounds and carrying a living dog inside it. Finally in January of 1958 the U.S. launched a satellite of its own into space, Explorer 1. On September 12, 1959 the Soviets launched Luna 2 landed on the moons surface and crashed after 36 hours of flight.
Until April 12, 1961 no man had ever been in outer space but under the Soviets project Vostok, Lt. Yuri A. Gagarin became the very first man in outer space, were he orbited the earth once in 1 hour and 48 minutes. The U.S. later on May 5, 1961, Comdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr. flew Freedom 7 into outer space but didnt orbit the earth, he did however stay up for 15 minutes and 28 seconds. The U.S. launched 1 more mission before sending a man into orbit around the earth, Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. was the first American to orbit the earth, he orbited 3 times and was up in orbit for 4 hours and 55 minutes. But before the U.S. had a man orbit the earth just once the Soviets had sent a man to orbit the earth 17 times in 1 day, 1 hour and 18 minutes. It seemed to the Americans that the United States was losing the space race, then on May 25, 1961 President John F. Kennedy promised that the United States would land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. To the American people they were enthusiastic but NASA was not so optimistic and felt the extreme pressure of the presidents speech.
On October 12, 1964 the Soviets launched Voskhod 1, a successful but reckless attempt to beat the U.S. in the space race again, to be the first to put three men into space aboard the same spacecraft. Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered that the Soviet Space program beat the U.S. in the space race, to do so they put the pilots at extreme risk. To get three men into the same spacecraft they had to remove safety equipment, the ejection seat, and didnt have the cosmonauts wear spacesuits. Although the mission was successful, the publicity stunt was one of many reasons that lead to Khrushchevs downfall. Later with Voskhod 2, which was launched on March 18, 1965 the Soviets sent two men into space with adequate space and with a airlock which could be opened in outer space. On the 18th the Soviets beat the U.S. once again and sent the first man to successfully walk in space. Then on March 23, 1965 the U.S. under project Gemini began to advance ahead of the Soviets in spacecraft maneuvers. Between March 23, 1965 and November 11, 1966 the U.S. advanced over the Soviets and over the course of 12 different missions the U.S. successfully completed 4 docking, 3 pass by, and 2 space walk missions along with maneuvering missions. The success of these mission objectives led to the start to a new project, Project Apollo, at the same time the Soviets started a new project themselves, Project Soyuz both beginning in 1967.
On January 27, 1967 while testing Apollo 1, there was a fire inside the cabin of the spacecraft and all three of the crew were killed before workers could open the door of the spacecraft, it was said that the inside of the craft reached 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. After the fire the Apollo program was postponed until investigation was completed. Investigators concluded that the fire could have been prevented if the inside of the craft wasnt made of such flammable materials, and put the blame on poor design. The program remained postponed for about a year and a half while the whole craft was redesigned. The same fate occurred for the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 1, on April 23, 1967 the spacecraft took off and completed 13 orbits when the spacecraft failed and began to spin out of control. The pilot was able to reenter earths atmosphere but was killed because of excessive heat during reentry, and crashed into earth. The Soviet space program was also postponed after the accident for about a year and a half. The next six Apollo missions were unmanned while testing was conducted. Then on October 11, 1968 Apollo 7 was launched and conducted a prolonged earth orbit that lasted for 10 days and 20 hours. The U.S. was winning the space race, for the Soviets didnt conduct a pass by until Soyuz 3 launched on October 26, 1968 and less then 2 months later the U.S. completed the first manned moon orbit, Apollo 8 launched on December 21, 1968. On January 14 and January 16, 1969 on two different missions 2 different dockings and space walks were conducted in an attempt to catch up too the U.S. in the space race. Then on March 3, 1969, Apollo 9 took off and tested the lunar module (the spacecraft used to land on the moon) for the first time in space in a successful mission they were able to dock to the lunar module, separate, and then re-dock. On May 18, 1969, Apollo 10 was launched and went into orbit around the moon, following along with the command module was the lunar module, the lunar module then came within 9 miles of the moons surface then took back off and then reattached to the command module. The success of this mission showed that a moon landing was possible to come back from, the only thing left to do was to land on the moon. Finally on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 took off on board were astronauts Lt. Col. Michael Collins, Col. Edwin Aldrin, and Neil A. Armstrong. They named the lunar module the Eagle and the command module the Columbia. While orbiting the moon, the command module and the lunar module separated, aboard the Columbia was Lt. Col. Michael Collins, aboard the Eagle was Col. Edwin Aldrin, and Neil A. Armstrong. On July 20, 1969 at 9:18PM, the Eagle landed on the moon, and the U.S. had won the space race. Neil A. Armstrong was the fist man to walk on the moon and as he took his first step on to the moons surface nearly 1/3 of the world listened to him say Thats one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. After several science experiments and collections had been completed the Eagle took off from the moon and docked with the Columbia and returned to earth. They spent the next three weeks after returning to earth in quarantine in fear of viruses that they could have contracted while on the moon. The Soviets had lost the space race but still launched three more Soyuz missions between October 11 to October 13, 1969, no one knows for sure why they had launched them, no docking was conducted, although they did pass by each other. There are some thoughts to why they launched these missions such as to build a space station, or simply use up hardware, or maybe they were still in the space race and were simply failed to successfully dock. There is thought that the Soviets dropped out of the space race back on April 24, 1967 when Soyuz 1 failed and crashed into earth. Once again the U.S. lands on the moon, using Apollo 12 launched on November 14, 1969. While on the moon the astronauts found Surveyor 3, a unmanned spacecraft launched on April 17, 1967 by the U.S. to photograph and test the composition of the moons surface.
The space race wasnt just about manned space flights and rockets sent into space to collect information, it was also about a race to gain power over communication worldwide, military reconnaissance, and advanced weather. On August 12, 1960 Echo 1 was designed and launched by Bell Laboratories and NASA, it was a 100 foot wide balloon, made of plastic and covered with aluminum. It was used only when it was in the right position over earth that it could be used to send radio messages to another location. In 1962 Telstar 1 was launched by Bell Telephone and AT&T as a communications satellite. Telstar was a 3 foot-diameter ball, that had solar cells which provided power to the satellite. It was capable of picking up radio signals like television broadcasts and telephone calls. On earth receivers would pick up the radio signals, and would then amplify them to be heard or seen. In 1963 the first commercial based satellite communications company was formed the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) in 1963. When the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) was formed in 1964, COMSAT became the U.S. member. Based in Washington, D.C., INTELSAT is owned by more than 120 nations. Intelsat 1 was launched in 1965 provides either 2400 voice circuits or one two-way television channel between the U.S. and Europe. Also for military usage, the military has satellites, which they use for private communication and early weather detection.
The idea of using outer space for military reconnaissance was discovered during the flight of Faith 7 launched on May 15, 1963 when Maj. Leroy Gordon Cooper said that while orbiting the earth he could see ships, roads, and smoking chimneys. When the Discoverer satellites were launched and sent over the Soviet Union it took high quality pictures of the country. In 1966 satellites were launched that could stay in orbit for weeks at a time and did have to be recovered to get the data collected, it was beamed back down to earth instead. The satellites had high-resolution cameras and infrared detectors. As technology and equipment has improved spying from space has become less expensive and recovered better information. Satellites are also being used to detect submerged submarines that would usually be unseen on earth.
Satellites can be used for missile detection as well as military reconnaissance. In 1960 the Midas satellites were launched, these satellites were capable of detecting heat by using infrared detectors. In 1968 Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEW) satellites were launched by the U.S., to detect the launching of ballistic weapons so that the target of the missile can be given early warning. The first Antimissile satellites were launched in the early part of the 1960s. The RCA SAINT was built to inspect targets and if needed destroy them.
Weather Satellites are used to give a accurate weather forecast for the up and coming days. On April 1, 1960, The U.S. and RCA launched the first weather satellite Tiros 1. Tiros 1 had two cameras, one for wide shots and the other for close up shots. When Tiros 1 would pass over the receiver the pictures would be sent down to the receiver on earth where the pictures could be analyzed to predict the weather. Later models of Tiros were launched that had better cameras and even infrared cameras too. Now because of weather satellites early detection of hurricanes and sever storms can give people time to prepare before the storm hits.
Vietnam War; The Middle
The middle of the Vietnam War began with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson was appointed president. Johnson felt that he had to take a forceful stand on Vietnam so that other Communist countries wouldnt think that the U.S. was weak. He thought to win the war the U.S. needed to scary the North Vietnam leaders with the possibility of a full-scale U.S. military attack. In 1964 Johnson ordered top-secret commando raids against bridges, railways, and coastal bases. He also ordered the U.S. Navy to conduct surveillance missions along the North Vietnams coast. He increased secret bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was a path, which became a road that ran around the front line between North and South Vietnam. On August 2, 1964, North Vietnamese gunboats fired on the U.S. destroyer USS Maddox, which had left the Gulf of Tonkin which was international waters and entered North Vietnams territory. Johnson in turn ordered more ships into the gulf. Once again on August 4, 1964, the USS Turner Joy was fired uponed by North Vietnamese patrol boats. Johnson replied again by ordering the first air strikes on North Vietnamese territory. Then the U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave war-making powers to Johnson until peace and security had returned to Vietnam. After the resolution was passed Johnson increased the bombing on North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese then launched their troops, the Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) into South Vietnam along with the National Liberation Front (NLF) also launching attacks against South Vietnam. Between February 7th to February 10th of 1965 the NLF launched surprise attacks on the U.S. air bases at Pleiku, killing 8, wounding 126 and Qui Nhon, killing 23, wounding 21. Johnson retaliated by bombing Hanoi while Soviet premier Aleksey Kosygin was visiting.The U.S. then declared a full-scale air war against the North Vietnamese to try to weaken the PAVN and the NLF, the bombing didnt however do so. Johnson also asked that U.S. ground troops be sent into Vietnam to protect airbases saying that the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) didnt have the ability to defend the bases alone. On March 8, 1965, 3500 U.S. Marines were sent in, in April 56,000 more troops were sent in, then by the end of June there were more then 74,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. The U.S. planned a strategy that would wear down the North Vietnamese by inflicting high death tolls. By the end of 1965, more then 80,000 U.S. troops were in Vietnam.
The North Vietnamese meanwhile were building up bases in the Central Highlands in South Vietnam, wanting to gain a strategic position. Also sending their troops along the Ho Chi Minh Trail that went through Laos and Cambodia skipping over the border of North and South Vietnam. The NLF and PAVN had poor weaponry so they avoided open combat, instead they did hit and run tactics, which they designed to wear down the support of the war in the United States.
In October 1965 one of the largest battles of the Vietnam War was fought in the La Drang Valley, where the U.S. defeated the North Vietnamese forces. After the battle the NLF and PAVN changed their fight tactics. Instead they would fight when they choose too, and when they did they would hit hard and fast and then retreat quickly to avoid U.S. firepower. The U.S. after the battle increased its search-and-destroy missions just northeast of Saigon.
In 1966 the U.S. bombed and destroyed more than 70% of the North Vietnams fuel reserves but still the North Vietnamese strength remained strong. By 1967 both the ground war and the air war had reached a stalemate, neither side was winning the war.
In 1967 North Vietnam (PAVN) and the NLF decided the time had come to mount an all-out offensive aimed at inflicting serious losses on both the ARVN and U.S. forces. They planned the Tet Offensive with the hope that this would effect the thinking of the war in the United States. In December 1967 North Vietnamese troops attacked and surrounded a U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh, and continually attacked it. The U.S. ordered that the base be held no matter what. To keep the North Vietnamese from taking the base about 50,000 U.S. troops were sent into the area, thus weakening positions further south. With so many American troops in one spot, the PAVN and NLF could attack anywhere else without much trouble. The main attack of the Tet Offensive then began on January 31, 1968, during the Tet holiday. Most ARVN troops had gone home on leave, and U.S. troops were on stand-down in many areas. Over 85,000 NLF soldiers simultaneously attacked almost every major city and capital across South Vietnam, defeating their defenders. The U.S. Embassy in Saigon was taken over by the NLF, and held for eight hours before U.S. forces could retake the complex. On March 16th U.S. troops in My Lai on a search and destroy mission kill more then 500 unarmed men, women and children. The U.S. Department of Defense estimated that a total of 45,000 North Vietnamese and NLF were killed during the Tet Offensive. After the Tet Offensive the majority of Americans wanted to end the war.
In 1968 Lyndon Johnson announced that he had decided not to seek reelection, and Richard Nixon was elected president. By January 1969, 30,000 U.S. troops had been killed in the war. Nixon announced that he had a plan to end the war and in July of 1969, he withdrew 25,000 U.S. troops from Vietnam and lowered the draft rate. He also increased a CIA operation that assassinated NLF guerrillas, which resulted in 20,000 assassinations. He also increased funding for the ARVN and increased the bombing on Northern Vietnam. Nixon said that the reason was to keep the Communist under attack while U.S. were withdrawn. In March of 1969, Nixon ordered the bombing of Cambodia in the intention to wipe out North Vietnamese and NLF bases along the South Vietnam border and to give the ARVN time to build up its forces. The bombing failed in its objectives, but as a result more then 100,000 innocent peasants were killed and 2 million were left homeless.
Also continuing since 1964 the bombing of Laos continued targeting North Vietnamese forces that were traveling along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. It is Estimated that about 150,000 tons of bombs were dropped over Laos between 1964 to 1969, and about 750,000 people were killed.
As a result of the middle of the Vietnam War 58,000 were killed, 300,000 were wounded, Vietnam veterans suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including anxiety and depression, and more then 130 billion dollars were spent directly on the war. The U.S. suffered raised taxes and serious inflation due to the high costs of the war. Hundreds of protests against the war were held, many of these protests ending in violence. Also the Vietnam War created a debate about the right of the U.S. to interfere in the affairs of other nations.