Laos, the US and the Vietnam War
1964 The United States officially enters the Vietnam War, saying North Vietnamese patrol boats fired on two US destroyers. Congress authorises action. The US begins a nine-year bombing campaign in Laos.
1965 Two hundred thousand American combat troops arrive in South Vietnam. By 1967 the number has risen to 500,000.
1968 The Tet Offensive, an assault on South Vietnamese cities by Vietcong fighters and the North Vietnamese army, begins. More than 500 civilians die in the US massacre at My Lai.
1969 North Vietnam’s leader Ho Chi Minh dies. President Nixon begins to reduce US ground troops in Vietnam as public opposition to the war grows.
1973 A ceasefire is agreed in Paris. US troops pull out by March.