A Columbia letter writer accuses me of not doing my homework. Perhaps he should do his, because here are the simple facts:
Eisenhower was president from January 1953-January 1961.
Kennedy was president from January 1961 through Nov. 22, 1963.
Johnson was president from Nov. 22, 1963 through January 1969.
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Nixon was president from January 1969 through Aug. 9, 1974.
The letter writer states, “Eisenhower approved the Bay of Pigs invasion in March 1960.” So.
I’d like to remind him that the invasion occurred April 17, 1961 when Kennedy was president and commander and chief of the military. The buck stops here.
The letter writer states, Fletcher Prouty, joint chiefs of staff, referred to memo from JFK stating personnel were to be out of Vietnam by 1965 and then referred to another memo signed by LBJ on Nov. 26, 1963 reversing JFKs memo.
My point being, JFK was president of the United States on Dec. 11, 1961, when our first American military deployment occurred in Vietnam. Our aircraft carrier with 33 helicopters and 400 troops arrived in Saigon. Dec. 22, 1961 was the first American combat death, marking the start of the war for the U.S. The war continued under President Johnson.
Again, it was Richard Nixon who officially ended the war in October 1972.