Thursday, April 3, 2008

Vietnam and the U.S. 1970 – Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S. 2008

Given the current daily news from Iraq and Afghanistan, I thought it would be interesting to look at the news headlines from the first week in April 1970 – one month before the Kent State National Guard shootings as well as the opening of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL.

Here are some news briefs from “Day by Day: The Seventies,” Volume 1, 1970-1975, by Thomas Leonard, Cynthia Crippen and Marc Aronson:

April 1: Communists launch a major assault across South Vietnam, striking at military bases and bombing major cities.

April 2: South Vietnamese and Communists delegates at the Paris Peace talks react with coolness to a French proposal for an international conference on Southeast Asia.

April 4: Increased fighting in Vietnam is reflected by 138 U.S. fatalities for the week, highest weekly figure since September 1969.

April 5: Battles along the DMZ in South Vietnam are the heaviest since November 14, 1969.

And instead of the current home mortgage crisis news and the election campaign news, the home-front news of that week included on April 1st:

  • The first contract covering table grape pickers in U.S. is signed in Los Angeles.
  • With agreement on a 41 percent wage increase over three years, the 60-day tugboat strike ends in New York harbor.
  • President Nixon signs a bill outlawing radio and television cigarette advertising effective January 2, 1971.

When we are busy with our everyday lives – whether in April 1970 or April 2008 – we often forget about U.S military forces deployed in combat areas. And there are many, many currently deployed military personnel who don’t have friends or family back home thinking of them.

As part of your everyday life now, consider supporting Soldiers Angels (, which sends letters, care packages and comfort items to deployed military personnel. The organization’s mission statement: “May No Soldier Go Unloved.”

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