Newstalgia Reference Room - A Dean Rusk Press Conference. Secretary of State Dean Rusk holds of Press conference, reviewing the events of 1967 and outlining U.S. goals for 1968, and discusses the ceasefire offer to North Vietnam. Less than three weeks later the Tet Offensive would begin.
January 9, 2012

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Dean Rusk - less than three weeks later, a surprising turn of events.


On January 4th 1968 Secretary of State Dean Rusk held a Press Conference where he reviewed Foreign Policy accomplishments of the previous year, and laid out goals for 1968. As always during the Vietnam Era, the goings on in Hanoi were first and foremost and, among other subjects, the offer of a ceasefire for January was talked about. It is ironic that less than three weeks later North Vietnam would launch the bloody and opinion-changing Tet Offensive. The event which was said to have turned many Americans against our involvement in Vietnam and, for all intents and purposes, was influential in Lyndon Johnson's decision not to seek re-election for the 1968 Presidential election.

But on January 4th neither Rusk, nor anyone in the State Department or on the ground in Vietnam, have a clue as to what was coming within a matter of days. The Offensive was said to have surprised everyone. There were skirmishes in the weeks leading up to Tet. But nothing to give any indication as to the scale of what was to come.

So with that in mind, here is the Dean Rusk Press Conference of January 4th, 1968 as heard over NBC Radio.

Pretend you have no idea how it all turned out.

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