On August 2nd, 1964, the U.S.S. Maddox, of the United States, was confronted by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two days later, the United States claimed a second confrontation. Surprisingly, the attacks on the U.S.S Maddox were never confirmed as some soldiers believed that there had been a mistake caused by the sound of the ship’s own propeller. However, in response to this alleged violence, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered airstrikes on North Vietnamese military assets, and the United States Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This authorized President Johnson to use military force in Southeast Asia without a formal declaration of war. To prevent further escalation of conflict between Soviet-backed North Vietnam and US-backed South Vietnam, an emergency summit between important world leaders has been called for early September, 1964.


    • Lyndon B. Johnson (US)
    • Robert McNamara (US)
    • David Dean Rusk (US)
    • McGeorge Bundy (US)
    • Nguyễn Khánh (South Vietnam)
    • Sir Robert Menzies (Australia)
    • Sir Keith Holyoake (New Zealand)
    • Thanom Kittikachorn (Thailand)
    • Diosdado Macapagal (Philippines)
    • Hayato Ikeda (Japan)
    • Park Chung-hee (South Korea)
    • Hồ Chí Minh (North Vietnam)
    • Lê Duẩn (North Vietnam)
    • Võ Nguyên Giáp (North Vietnam)
    • Kim Il-sung (North Korea)
    • Mao Zedong (China)
    • Anastas Mikoyan (Soviet Union)
    • Fidel Castro (Cuba)

Background Guide

Background Guide - Vietnam