8/4/1964: Gulf of Tonkin incident: U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.
President Lyndon Johnson told the public that Vietnamese forces attacked US ships on August 4th, 1964, and the American public was immediately outraged by what is known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The public’s reaction escalated the Vietnam War, and Congress passed The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that allowed US forces to strike against North Vietnam. When the Vietnam War ended in 1973, more than three million people had lost their lives. In 2005, the NSA released previously classified documents that revealed, to everyone’s horror, that Johnson had fabricated the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in order to justify attacking North Vietnam.