March 8, 1965
March 8, 1965 was a very important day in the Vietnam War. On this day the first combat troops arrived at China Beach to fight for the United States. At 9:03 AM , US Marines began wading through the water towards the beaches of Da Nang (a similar image is that of the US troops invading Normandy on D-Day although they were not greeted the same way). There were 3,500 Marines sent to defend the Da Nang air base from Viet Cong attack. They were greeted by flower garlands by young Vietnamese women. The civilians were obviously happy that they were there.

This event led the way for the United States to become involved in the Vietnam war. Before this event, President Johnson was able to keep the actions in vietnam somewhat of a secret and he was not forced to inform the public. However on July 28th,1965 Lyndon Johnson gave a televised press conference confessing that he needed 125,000 more men ready to fight in Vietnam. By August there was somewhere around 200,000 American troops in Vietnam.



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Marines land at Red Beach on March 8, 1965 (Click Picture for Source)

Sources:

1) Isserman, Maurice. Vietnam War. Updated ed. America at War. New York: Facts On File-Infobase Publishing, 2003. Infobase eBooks. Infobase Publishing.. http://ebooks.infobasepublishing.com/ View.aspx?ISBN=9781438100159&InstID=831 (accessed November 25, 2010).

2) Willbanks, James H. "The Real History of the Vietnam War." Armchair General. Nov. 2007: 54-67. SIRS Researcher. Web. 26 Nov 2010.