JFK Assassination and Lyndon B. Johnson
When President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected president in 1960, he stepped into an ongoing conflict with communism in the Soviet Union and Asia. In Vietnam, a communist movement was taking over the country that the U.S. was trying to stop. In 1962, Kennedy established the Military Assistance Command of Vietnam (MACV) to help and train the army of South Vietnam stop the communist forces of North Vietnam. Within the year there were 15,000 “military advisors” in Vietnam. One thing that Kennedy did to try to protect South Vietnamese peasants was establish protected places for them to live. This plan backfired, as these protected places became labor camps, and many of the peasants moved to the side of the Viet Cong in North Vietnam. On November 22, 1963 Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas by young man named Lee Harvey Oswald. Immediately after Kennedy was declared dead, Kennedy’s vice president Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office. Johnson was a much stronger believer in stopping the spread of communism, so he was much more willing to send troops to Vietnam. In the next year, Johnson sent more and more troops to Vietnam leading up to the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. This deployment of troops escalated the war from the point of view of the United States.