1967 Year in Review

Vietnam at Home

Published: 1967
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

Announcer: The passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964 gave the President the authority to do what he thinks is necessary to maintain peace and security in Vietnam. In 1967, some Congressman thought Johnson was overstepping that authority. Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey said…

Senator Clifford Case: "Only recently on August 18th, the President told his news conference: 'I believe that every Congressman and most of the Senators knew what the Tonkin Gulf Resolution said. That Resolution,' the President went on, 'authorized the President and expressed the Congress's willingness to go along with the President to do whatever was necessary to deter aggression.' But this in my judgment is a complete distortion of what Congress understood and what Congress intended by its action three years ago. It amounts to a claim by the President that we gave him a perpetual letter of credit, which no Congress could or would do."

Announcer: The drama of Vietnam remained in the reports from the battlefield. Whether it was the swampy delta, the highlands, the lowlands, the bug-infested jungle or Hill 875, the story was the same, one of courage and death.

Announcer: The number of Americans who gave their lives in Vietnam rose to over 15,000 in 1967. The dollar cost rose, too: $80 million a day; however, with an inspiring victory at the end of the year at a place called Dak To and Hill 875, General William Westmoreland, U.S. Commander in Vietnam, predicted the end of the war was in sight.

Commander William Westmoreland: "We have reached an important point when the -- the end begins to come into view. In Phase III in 1968, we intend to do the following: help the Vietnamese armed forces to continue improving their effectiveness; continue pressure on the North to prevent rebuilding and to make aggression more costly."

Announcer: Early in 1967, Henry Cabot Lodge left his position as Ambassador to Vietnam and was replaced by veteran diplomat Ellsworth Bunker. An administrative change that will have an effect on American policy in Vietnam came later in the year.

Robert Strange McNamara: "About the middle of October, I was informed by the President that nominations to succeed Mr. Wood would soon have to be made, and the President asked me if I was still interested in serving as head of the bank. I answered in the affirmative, repeating, however, that I would not leave the post of Secretary of Defense until the President felt he could release me."

Announcer: Robert Strange McNamara had held the post of the Secretary of Defense for seven years, longer than any Secretary before him.