| January 1973|
The peace treaty ending the Vietnam War was signed on January 27, 1973. In the treaty, the United States promised to withdraw its troops within 60 days. Both sides would exchange prisoners, and South Vietnam would hold elections. Early in 1975, North Vietnam attacked the South, breaking the cease-fire. By then, the United States had withdrawn its troops and substantially cut its aid to South Vietnam. On April 30, 1975, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong streamed into Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City.
By 1975, 57,000 Americans and untold numbers of Vietnamese had died in Vietnam. The United States had spent $155 billion in Southeast Asia since 1950. The war eroded Americans' faith in their government. As the war escalated in the mid to late 1960's, its critics became more outspoken. University students and teachers began holding teach-ins in 1965. Hundreds of young men escaped the draft by fleeing to Canada. Protest marches happened across the country. Those opposing the war argued that the war cost too much--both in lives and dollars--and couldn't be won. By 1970, the majority of Americans opposed the war.