Vietnam Peace Treaty Agreed To In Paris
By Patrick Mondout
On January 23, 1971, the U.S. and North Vietnam jointly announced from
Paris that the terms of a cease-fire agreement had been accepted by both
The nine-point cease-fire agreement, negotiated between Henry Kissinger
and North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho, was signed in Paris on January 27, 1973,
to become effective on January 28. It called for the U.S. to remove all of
its forces from South Vietnam and for all POWs to be returned within 60
Peace With Honor
President Nixon hailed the agreement as meeting "the goals that we
considered essential for peace with honor." Nixon ran for president
in 1968 on a pledge of bringing the war to an end, but only by achieving
what he called "peace with honor." He was unable to achieve it
in his first term but then settled with the North Vietnamese on terms that
were exactly the same as the Johnson Administration had negotiated shortly
before the election in 1968.
On February 12, the first
group of American POWs were released at an airfield near Hanoi. On
Valentine's Day, 1973, the first former POWs arrived in California. On
March 28th, 1973, the last U.S. military personnel departed South Vietnam.
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.
After years of arguing over
such things as the size of the table they would
negotiate at, both sides finally came to an
agreement they could live with and the cease fire
agreement was signed on January 27, 1973.
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. Soon after the tragedy at
Kent State in 1970, the majority of Americans opposed the war.