Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

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Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

On August 10, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Tonkin Resolution. The resolution is particularly significant because it gave the President authority to exercise military force, without a declaration of war. The resolution came after a series of murky events in the Gulf of Tonkin that led the US military to report that they had been fired upon by the North Vietnamese military. The truth of that version of events has been called in to question numerous times. This resolution launched the United States in to another confrontation with USSR backed forces.