David Schmitz, the Robert Allen Skotheim chair of history at Whitman College, notes that President Richard Nixon's first term saw the definitive crucible of the Vietnam War. Nixon came into office seeking a military victory and expanded the war covertly and overtly to uphold containment, maintain American credibility and defy the antiwar movement at home. By 1971, however, he was forced to de-escalate and seek a negotiated end to the war. Using recently declassified records, Schmitz will examine the main controversies of Nixon's Vietnam strategy and how they led to the president's ultimate resignation from office.
This lecture is sponsored by the Corliss Lamont Fund and the Lucius Root Eastman Fund and is free and open to the public.