National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: November 20, 2012

National Archives at Kansas City

Dr. James Willbanks to Discuss Richard Nixon and the Fall of South Vietnam at the National Archives

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City, (MO)… The National Archives at Kansas City will host Dr. James Willbanks on Tuesday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion titled Richard Nixon and the Fall of South Vietnam. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event.

In the aftermath of the 1968 Tet Offensive, Richard M. Nixon narrowly defeated Hubert H. Humphrey for the presidency. After taking office in January 1969, he had to make good on his promise to end the war in Vietnam. However, the war would continue to rage until a cease-fire was called in January 1973. All U.S. forces were withdrawn by March of that year, but the war soon began again in earnest and continued until April 1975, when the South Vietnamese succumbed to what turned out to be the final North Vietnamese offensive. This presentation will focus on the wartime policies of Nixon that set the conditions for the fall of Saigon.

This lecture is part of the One of 44 Lecture Series being offered in conjunction with the School House to White House exhibit currently on display at the National Archives through February 23, 2013. School House to White House focuses on the education of the Presidents.

To make a reservation for this free event please call 816-268-8010 or email

About the speaker

James Willbanks, Ph.D. is the General of the Army George C. Marshall Chair of Military History and Director of the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He has been on the faculty since 1992, when he retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel with twenty-three years service as an Infantry officer in various assignments. His time in the military included a tour as an advisor with a South Vietnamese regiment during the 1972 North Vietnamese Easter Offensive. He holds a B.A. in history from Texas A&M University, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Kansas. He is the author of Abandoning Vietnam; The Battle of An Loc; The Tet Offensive: A Concise History; Vietnam War Almanac; and the editor of America’s Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan; and The Vietnam War, a volume in The International Library of Essays on Military History. He is currently working on a book about Operation Lam Son 719 in Laos during the Vietnam War. Dr. Willbanks is a trustee of the Society for Military History and is on the History Advisory Committee of ABC-CLIO Publishing. He also serves on the editorial boards of Vietnam and Armchair General magazines.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-KC 13-04

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