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May 1: Reports contend South Vietnamese troops have crossed two-and-a-half miles into Cambodia, a violation of the ceasefire, to knock out North Vietnamese artillery. Saigon military command denies the story.

May 2: Sources maintain the battle between North and South Vietnamese troops continues inside Cambodia. U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Graham Martin acknowledges that, in violation of the ceasefire, the CIA-financed Air America transported, for “humanitarian reasons,” a wounded North Vietnamese. Others point out that the North Vietnamese soldier was in the South, which is also a violation. Sen. Harold Hughes (D-Iowa) accuses the Air Force of habitually destroying orders that created false reporting procedures used to cover up the 1970 bombing campaign in Cambodia.

May 3: The month-old Laotian coalition government does not convene the National Assembly due to “present political circumstances.”

May 4: An elementary school in Song Phu is hit by what are believed to be Viet Cong mortars, killing eight children and wounding 31. The Army releases a memo from President Nixon regarding his decision against any further reductions in the sentence of 1st Lt. William Calley, Jr. Army Secretary Howard Callaway orders Calley dismissed from the service.

May 5: Reports contend South Vietnamese troops pushed four miles into Cambodia but were stopped by heavy enemy resistance.

May 6: The Senate rejects a White House request for $266 million in additional aid to South Vietnam. The VC deny shelling the elementary school.

May 7: North Vietnamese Defense Minister Võ Nguyên Giáp, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the victory at Dien Bien Phu, calls it “an epoch-making turn in the Vietnamese revolution.”

May 8: The Defense Department acknowledges it has been stockpiling weapons for South Vietnam, South Korea, and Thailand.

May 9: The House Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings of President Nixon during a closed-door session. House Republican leader John Rhodes, for the second time, suggests that Nixon should consider resigning. North Korea fires on two American helicopters flying a “routine operational mission” near the Korean DMZ, the first such incident in five years. No injuries are reported. Before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, the Pentagon insists it needs to create a new family of nerve gases to modernize its chemical weapons.

May 10: Outside Paris, South Vietnam’s delegates suspend political talks with the PRG. U.S. District Court Judge J. Robert Elliot, who agrees to hear Calley’s case, says that he believes Calley will win.

May 12: South Vietnamese government spokesman Bui Bao Truc accuses a “big American newspaper” of threatening to write an unfavorable article about the regime if it does not resume the PRG’s weekly news conferences. Truc threatens to close the office and expel the correspondents if the story is written.

May 13: Sources claim Nixon, on April 30, sent a letter to U.S. District judge Gerhard Gesell, explaining that the White House “plumbers” who broke into the Watergate were operating under the general delegation of his authority when they broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in 1971. Truc denies he accused The New York Times of threatening his government, maintaining he was speaking in “hypothetical” terms.

May 14: Nixon names Air Force Gen. George Brown as the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. David Jones, who commands the Air Force in Europe, succeeds Brown as Air Force Chief of Staff.

May 15: Thirty-five miles south of Phnom Penh, communist insurgents sink a South Vietnamese barge carrying $1.5 million in U.S.-supplied weapons; two other ships are set afire. Three are killed and 15 wounded.

May 16: The Saigon command reports that the Dak Pek base camp, twelve miles from the Laotian border, has been overrun. Half of the 369 troops defending against almost 5,000 enemy troops are reported killed, wounded, or missing.

May 17: The Senate Armed Services Committee votes to cut military aid to South Vietnam by $700 million. Communist troops capture two South Vietnamese outposts within 25 miles of Saigon.

May 18: Testimony is made public in which the Pentagon, before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on March 20, admitted that the Air Force and Navy, in the first known use of weather warfare in military history, participated in rain-making operations from 1967-72 to try to slow the movement of NVA troops down the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

May 21: Thailand’s eight-month-old government, under Premier Sanya Dharmasakti, resigns. A military alert is declared.

May 22: The House approves a $474 million cut in South Vietnamese military aid.

May 24: Dharmasakti says he will return because of the “confidence” given to him by all sections of Thai society. Judge Gesell rules that Nixon has no constitutional right to authorize a search without a warrant, even in the interest of national security.

May 25: Air Force Secretary John McLucas states that as part of the withdrawal from Thailand, the U.S. will soon shift an F-4 Phantom squadron to South Korea.

May 27: Sources report President Nguyen Van Thieu has dismissed Nguyen Van Ngan, one of his closest advisers, most likely because of his contact with communists. A government spokesman denies Ngan has been accused of the treasonous crime.

May 29: The Pentagon discloses an investigation into a racial incident in which five men were injured at Fort Davis in the Panama Canal Zone on May 12.

June 1: A new, all-civilian Thai government is sworn in.

June 3: The police report an enemy rocket hit the Tan Hiep Prison near Bien Hoa Air Base, killing 29 and wounding 63. It is part of a larger attack on the area in which 13 others are killed and 20 are wounded. A South Korean tanker is sunk by enemy sappers eight miles southeast of Saigon. Four crew members are reported missing.

June 4: In Phnom Penh, a week of student unrest ends in turmoil, leaving two students dead, eight wounded, and 72 under arrest. Forty-eight police are injured. Cambodian education minister Keo Sangkim and his top adviser, Thach Chea, are killed when government troops storm a high school where the two were being held hostage by students demanding education reforms. In Laos, despite the deadline for all foreign troops to leave, reports describe many NVA still in the country. In a plea bargain with the special Watergate prosecutor, Charles Colson pleads guilty of attempting to obstruct justice and influence the Ellsberg trial. In Saigon, the U.S. Embassy expresses dissatisfaction over the communists’ refusal to discuss the search for missing Americans. The House unanimously approves a resolution opposing consideration of aid to North Vietnam and the VC until they do more to help account for American MIAs.

June 6: The Saigon government announces that former National Assemblyman Tran Ngoc Châu, jailed for treason, has been “temporarily” released. Nixon’s lawyer, James St. Clair, confirms that his client was named in February (although not indicted) as a coconspirator by the grand jury looking into the Watergate coverup. Saigon orders Dien Tin, an antigovernment newspaper, to stop its survey of readers’ attitudes about the possibility of a Nixon impeachment.

June 7: Judge John Sirica lifts the protective order on court papers portraying Nixon as a coconspirator.

June 8: A Cambodian military court prosecutor names seven men, led by a 30-year-old engineer, as the murderers of Sangkim and Chea. The PRG says it will rejoin the two-party JMC talks.

June 9: Cambodia extends its order closing all schools to June 12.

June 11: Judge Gesell grants White House Counsel John Ehrlichman a separate, delayed trial because of Nixon’s refusal to provide documents related to his case. Nixon’s lawyers disclose that the President has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether a grand jury has a right under the Constitution to charge an incumbent president as an unindicted coconspirator in a criminal proceeding. In an emotional news conference, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger threatens to resign unless his name is cleared of allegations he participated in “illegal or shady activity” in governmental wiretaps. South Vietnam and the PRG resume the two-party negotiations.

June 12: Gesell reverses himself and orders Ehrlichman to be tried with the other plumbers. Memos written by the House committee looking into Watergate accuse Nixon of being involved in a second coverup after the first one failed.

June 13: Sources report Long Boret resigned during a four-hour meeting with Lon Nol. Boret is reappointed premier to form a new cabinet. Sources say Kissinger is not a target of the Watergate prosecutor’s investigation into the White House wiretapping operation. A federal appeals court reverses the district judge’s ruling that put Calley out on bail. Calley is ordered back into Army custody while his conviction is under appeal.

June 14: Gesell rules the White House has satisfied its legal requirements and orders Ehrlichman to stand trial on June 26.

June 15: The Supreme Court agrees to hear Nixon’s case.

June 18: After the PRG delegation walks out of meetings of both the two-party and four-party JCMs, the U.S. Embassy issues a statement accusing the VC and the North Vietnamese of refusing to observe the ceasefire and of trying to defeat the South militarily.

June 19: The Supreme Court upholds the court-martial conviction of Dr. Howard Levy. While an Army doctor, Levy encouraged his patients to oppose the Vietnam War. Saigon pedicab driver Vo Van Nam, who tried to burn himself April 29 because he could not feed his family, dies in Saigon. The NYT reports readers sent $400 for the family after seeing the initial story.

June 20: Sources say South Vietnam has sunk a North Vietnamese trawler just below the DMZ. The military command acknowledges a vessel was sunk north of Danang but provides no other details. North Vietnam accuses American pilots of flying combat missions over the South. The U.S. Embassy calls the charge “ridiculous.” The U.S. accuses Hanoi of blocking the search for American MIAs. Calley returns to Army custody in Fort Benning.

June 21: Colson is sentenced to one to three years and a $5,000 fine. He tells Gesell that Nixon, “on numerous occasions,” pushed him to commit the offenses.

June 22: Communist troops attack a 20-boat convoy seven miles from Phnom Penh. A barge containing 2,000 tons of rice is sunk; one freighter is disabled and two others are damaged. Two seamen are killed and two guards are wounded. The PRG accuses the U.S. and South Vietnam of impeding negotiations and of propelling the war forward.

June 24: Seeking a reversal of his conviction, Calley’s lawyers claim their client was a victim of “damaging and inflammatory” pretrial publicity.

June 25: The Supreme Court denies Calley’s bail application.

June 27: The jury in the Watergate break-in trial is sworn in.

June 28: It is announced that the U.S. will withdraw from Takhli Air Base in Thailand by October 1 and from Ubon by the end of the year.

Nick Ut/Associated Press
Gun smoke enveloping a South Vietnamese artillery battery firing salvos at North Vietnamese positions around Duc Duc south of Da Nang on July 31, 1974. It marked the 14th day of fierce fighting withing 20 miles of the second-largest city in South Vietnam.




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