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Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Things They Carried

1946 · Tim O'Brien (William Timothy) was born on October 1st in Austin, Minnesota

1954 · May-July Vietnam formally separated into North and South Vietnam

1955 · January 1, United States starts to aid South Vietnam government

1961 · November 22, United States decides to expand military aid and advisors to South Vietnam. United States personnel raised to 3,200 by the end of the year

1964 · August 2-4 North Vietnamese attack United States warships in Gulf of Tonkin. President Johnson orders first United States air strikes against North Vietnam (August 4)

1965 · In March the first United States combat troops are sent to Vietnam

1967 · 40,000 people protest the war at the Pentagon

1968 · Graduated from Macalester College with a BA in political science · Drafted into Vietnam · March 16, battle of My Lai takes place (death count was between three hundred and five hundred villagers) · March 31 Johnson offers to negotiate with the North Vietnamese for peace and announces he will not run for reelection

1969 · June 8, Nixon announces first United States troop withdrawal of 25,000. Withdrawals continue for the next four years

1970 · Returned from Vietnam with a purple heart and rank of sergeant · May 4, during nationwide protests four students were killed at Kent State University in Ohio. Ten days later two students were killed at Jackson State University in Mississippi · Lieutenant Calley (officer who led My Lai Massacre) was court-martialed and tried for his part in the massacre. He was tried again in 1971 and found guilty of murdering at least twenty-two villagers and sentenced to life in prison. After three days he was released by Nixon and placed under house arrest. He was paroled three years later.

1972 · During the summer serious negotiations between North Vietnam and the United States took place

1973 · January 27, Paris Peace Accords signed, ending United States involvement in Vietnam. Fighting between North and South Vietnam soon resumes · Married Ann, a magazine production manager · Released If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Send Me Home · Hired as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post · November 7, Congress passes War Powers Act over Nixon's veto, preventing future presidents from sending United States troops overseas for more than sixty days without congressional approval

1974 · August 9, Nixon resigns over Watergate scandal

1975 · Released Northern Lights · April 30, Saigon falls to communists. Last Americans leave United States embassy

1976 · Received O. Henry Memorial Award for chapters of Going After Cacciato

1978 · Released Going After Cacciato · Received O. Henry Memorial Award for chapter of Going After Cacciato

1979 · Won the National Book Award for Going After Cacciato

1985 · Released The Nuclear Ages

1990 · Released The Things They Carried · Received Heartland Prize, Chicago Tribune, for The Things They Carried

1994 · Released In The Lake of the Woods

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