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The History of the World (April 1969-May 1970) 

President Richard Nixon begins withdrawing American troops from Vietnam, but his authorization of the invasion of Cambodia sparks large protests in America.


Ken Burns, Lynn Novick

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Episode credited cast:
Peter Coyote ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Creighton Williams Abrams Creighton Williams Abrams ... Himself - Commanding General in S. Vietnam (archive footage)
Spiro Agnew ... Himself - Vice President USA (archive footage)
Nancy Biberman Nancy Biberman ... Herself - Anti-war Activist
Sam Brown Sam Brown ... Himself -Anti-war Activist (archive footage)
Nguyen Thoi Bung Nguyen Thoi Bung ... Himself - Viet Cong
William Calley William Calley ... Himself - Platoon Leader (archive footage)
Carol Crocker Carol Crocker ... Herself - Goucher College
Walter Cronkite ... Himself - CBS News Anchorman (archive footage)
Le Duan Le Duan ... Himself - Leader of N. Vietnam (archive footage)
Bill Ehrhart Bill Ehrhart ... Himself - Marines
Duong Van Mai Elliott Duong Van Mai Elliott ... Herself - Saigon
Glenn Frank Glenn Frank ... Himself - Geologist Professor (archive footage)
Robert Frishman Robert Frishman ... Himself - Former Prisoner of War (archive footage)
Joan Furey Joan Furey ... Herself - Army Nurse


President Richard Nixon begins withdrawing American troops from Vietnam, but his authorization of the invasion of Cambodia sparks large protests in America.

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English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

26 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

A Sad Commentary on Us!
5 November 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

As we are stunned every day by the support given a person with virtually no morals or compassion, we need only look back to 1969 to see that things haven't changed all that much. In addition to the excellent reporting on the battles and conflicts in Southeast Asia, now including Cambodia, the focus of this episode is the callousness and ugliness of Nixon's administration and two atrocities, My Lai and Kent State. As the number of dead Americans reached 50,000, Nixon knew that the U.S. could not win this war. What does he do? He sends thousands of new draftees into combat in the South. Time after time it is reported that these troops were not prepared for what they faced. They fought to the death, but became numbers. As images of these atrocities were being reported on the six o'clock news, more and more young people were motivated to make this stop. Remember, these were the ones who were fighting and dying for a war in a country that was no threat to them, a people they didn't even know, egged on by an unbalanced leader. Of course, horrible things happened. William Calley became the poster boy for the ugliness of it all, leading a massacre of civilians (including old men and women, children, and babies). Obviously there were violent factions that emerged, but on most college campuses, the demonstrations were loud and peaceful. Kent State changed that when National Guard troops, children themselves, opened fire on a crowd that was simply standing by a road. Here's the kicker. Polls said that nearly 60% of Americans approved of those troops firing into a crowd of unarmed people. Meanwhile the politicians continued to play games with the minds of the citizens. But things were starting to unwind. One thing I learned was that the draft lottery was strictly and political move to get people off Nixon's back. It worked. Sometimes we are so stupid. Excellent show.

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