The Vietnam War might have been one of the most controversial chapters in United States history. For the first time, Americans at home had a front-row seat to brutal battles from their television set, newspapers, and magazines. Images from the war were everywhere, and tensions were mounting between those opposed to America’s involvement in the war and those who supported the fighting.
The conflict began when communist North Vietnam and non-communist South Vietnam fought for control of the whole country. Active American involvement in the war began in 1954 with President Dwight D. Eisenhower pledging his support to South Vietnam. The war spanned decades, finally ending with the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973, with more than 3 million people killed, including 58,200 American men and women killed or missing in action. More than half of the deaths were Vietnamese civilians. For a timeline and a more in-depth look into the history of the war, click here.
In preparation for the upcoming premiere of the ten-part, eighteen-hour documentary series on PBS, you can view a Vietnam War display on the upper level at the Aurora Public Library and check out books related to that era. The documentary premieres on Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. on PBS. To learn more, visit these websites: