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The Vietnam War
Ralph Nurnberger

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Most citizens of the United States and Vietnam have no living memory of a conflict that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and upward of a million Vietnamese. The Vietnam War was a tragedy of epic dimensions. The origins of the war were complex and multifaceted. In an effort to place the war into context, this four-part series will begin with an overview of Vietnamese history leading to the colonization of the Indochina Peninsula by the French in the mid-19th century. Following a Japanese occupation in the 1940s, the Vietnamese fought French rule in the First Indochina War, eventually expelling the French in 1954. Although an international conference, held in Geneva in 1954, called for a unified country, Vietnam was divided politically into two rival states, North and South Vietnam. Opponents of the regime in the South received assistance from North Vietnam, which intensified into the Vietnam War. US military advisors arrived in the 1950s; American involvement escalated in the 1960s, especially after Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. American military actions eventually spread the conflict into neighboring Laos and Cambodia. Despite the Paris Peace Accord, which was signed by all parties in January 1973, and the end of direct US military involvement in August 1973, the fighting continued until the fall of South Vietnam in 1975. North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. In addition to focusing on events in Southeast Asia, this series will also focus on the impact of the war on American domestic events and politics, as well as a discussion of the region after the war officially ended.

1. Vietnam - Ancient times until 1954
2. Increased American Involvement: 1954 - 1964
3. The Height of the American Actions in Vietnam: 1964 - 1972
4. The Road to Peace and Beyond: 1972 - Present
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Ralph Nurnberger taught History and International Relations at Georgetown University beginning in 1975.  He received the Excellence in Teaching award from the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003.  His most recent course at Georgetown was a graduate seminar on the Arab-Israel conflict.  Dr. Nurnberger has served on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Legislative Liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Director of Congressional Relations for the Bureau of Export Administration at the US Department of Commerce. He was the first Director of "Builders of Peace" which was established to assist the Middle East Peace Process through economic development.  He has also advised numerous congressional, senatorial and presidential campaigns on foreign policy issues, especially those related to the Middle East.  Dr. Nurnberger received his BA from Queens College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was captain of the varsity tennis team.  He holds an MA from Columbia University and a PhD from Georgetown University.

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Date: Thursdays, February 8, 15, 22; March 1
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $50
Non-member - $65
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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