1972 - 1974

Historical Timeline of the War: 1972-1974 

Henry Kissinger
Le Duc Tho
Tho and Kissinger
Melvin Laird
H.R. Halderman
John Ehrlichman
James Schlesinger
Spiro T. Agnew

Gerald R. Ford

January 25, 1972


President Nixon announces a proposed eight-point peace plan for Vietnam and also reveals that Kissinger has been secretly negotiating with the North Vietnamese. However, Hanoi rejects Nixon's peace overture.

March—September 1972

In an attempt to force North Vietnam to make concessions in the ongoing peace talks, the Nixon administration orders heavy bombing of supply dumps and petroleum storage sites in and around Hanoi and Haiphong. The administration makes it clear to the North Vietnamese that no section of Vietnam is off-limits to bombing raids.

June 17, 1972

Break-In at Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.

October 8, 1972

Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho reach agreement in principle on several key measures leading to a cease-fire in Vietnam. Kissinger's view that "peace is at hand," is dimmed by South Vietnamese President Thieu's opposition to the agreement.

October 24, 1972

President Thieu denounces Kissinger's peace proposal.

November 7, 1972

Nixon re-elected.

January 27, 1973

A cease-fire agreement that, in the words of Richard Nixon, "brings peace with honor in Vietnam and Southeast Asia," is signed in Paris by Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announces the draft is ended in favor of voluntary enlistment.

February 12, 1973

Operation Homecoming begins the release of 591 American POWs from Hanoi.

March 29, 1973

Last U.S. troops leave Vietnam.

April 30, 1973

The Watergate scandal results in the resignation of top Nixon aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.

July 17, 1973

Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger testifies before the Armed Forces Committee that 3,500 bombing raids were launched into Cambodia to protect American troops by targeting NVA positions. The extent of Nixon's secret bombing campaign angers many in Congress and results in the first call for Nixon's impeachment.

August 14, 1973

All bombing in Cambodia ceases.

October 10, 1973

Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew resigns in a scandal. Replaced by Gerald R. Ford.

November 7, 1973

Congress passes the War Powers Resolution requiring the President to obtain the support of Congress within 90 days of sending American troops abroad.

May 9, 1974

Congress begins impeachment proceedings against President Nixon stemming from the Watergate scandal.

August 9, 1974

Nixon resigns. Gerald R. Ford becomes the 38th U.S. President
September 16, 1974

President Ford announces a clemency program for draft evaders and deserters.

October 1974

North Vietnam decides to launch an invasion of South Vietnam in 1975.

December 18, 1974

North Vietnam's leaders meet in Hanoi to form a plan for final victory.