1968 Vietnam War
When we remember the 1960s, LSD, civil rights, black nationalism, feminism, political unrest, assassinations, and Vietnam come to mind with a Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack played by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin,and Jimi Hendrix.
And if one had to pick one year of that tumultuous decade that was "more" 1960s than any other, 1968 would be a prime candidate.
And if Vietnam was the salient feature of that decade, 1968 was a year that many Americans decided that the war was a waste of life and limb.
On January 26, 1968 in Time Magazine, General Westmoreland said, "the Communists seem to have run temporarily out of steam."
Three days later, the nation that heralded George Washington's Christmas night crossing of the Delaware River and sneak attack on the Hessian troops barracked in Trenton, was angered when the North Vietnamese and Vietcong launched the surprise Tet Offensive. The US and South Vietnamese forces defeated the attacks, but at home those military reports of a weakened enemy were questioned.
1968 Vietnam War
December 31, 1968: the bloodiest year of the war came to an end. 536,000 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.
Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that US and Vietnamese forces had killed 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese during 1968.
However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968.
Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded.
The war that year had cost $77 billion (1968) dollars--$526 billion today.