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Dwight D. Eisenhower

'Guns of August 2': What led to the Vietnam War

'Guns of August 2': What led to the Vietnam War

In the book "The Guns of August," historian Barbara Tuchman describes the decisions that, 100 years ago, led to World War I. But this August brings us another momentous turning point: the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of 1964. This incident was a clash between North Vietnamese torpedo boats and American naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 2, 1964. This engagement, along with an erroneously reported second incident on Aug. 4, provided President Lyndon Johnson with the ammunition he needed to request from Congress broad powers to wage war in Southeast Asia. With Congress' Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in hand, Johnson soon began to pour American soldiers...