Following the end of WWII, the Korean peninsula was split into two territories with the northern portion administered by the Soviet Union and the southern portion administered by the United States and other United Nations governments. Both the northern and southern governments continued to believe they were the rightful government for the whole of the Korean peninsula. The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean troops drove into South Korea, seen as an act of invasion. In response, the United Nations mustered a defensive force to counter the invading forces of North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union. The two sides fought until July 27, 1953 when the Korean armistice was signed establishing the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and perpetuating the two-state status quo. In the end, this war saw some of the heaviest civilian casualties as cities across the peninsula, but particularly in the north, faced extensive bombing.
Shortly after the signing of the Korean armistice, war broke out in Vietnam between two factions, the North Vietnamese (supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist governments) and the South Vietnamese (supported by the United States and other anti-communist governments). Initially, the United States sent only military advisors and financial aid to the South Vietnamese forces, but that escalated to over half a million troops at its peak and 2.7 million in total. North Korean troops were aided by guerilla forces in the neighboring countries, Cambodia and Laos, as well as the Viet Cong in the southern regions. On the United States home front, many were strongly opposed to this war and held anti-war demonstrations. Following pressure by the American public, President Nixon oversaw the withdrawal of American forces from the region by March of 1973. The war continued across Vietnam until the fall of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, on April 30, 1975 to North Vietnamese forces.
Listed below are some recommended catalog key terms for searching for the Korean and Vietnam wars. Full steps on how to use these key terms can be found on this LibGuide's homepage.
Listed below are some recommended subject headings for searching for the Korean and Vietnam wars. Full steps on how to use these subject terms can be found on this LibGuide's homepage.
Korean War, 1950-1953
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
A few of the collections held by LSU Libraries Special Collections are listed below. Additional collections may be found utilizing the subject headings listed in the sections above.
Books and other published materials