The Fall of Saigon, 1975

At 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 29, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford summoned the leaders of Congress to the White House for an historic, hour-long meeting. “The president entered the room, his face deeply anxious, his manner tense,” wrote Time Magazine correspondent Neil MacNeil. Ford told them that he had convened a session of the National Security Council at 7:30 p.m., Monday evening, and there gave the order to evacuate all Americans from Vietnam.

MacNeil filed his report of the meeting on April 30. He ended by quoting Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield:

“It’s the end of an era, the end of the post-World War II era. We have to bind up the wounds, as Ford said, and start anew. We have to recognize that we are limited in our resources; we can’t police the globe. … I hope we’ve learned from what we’ve gone through and that we never get involved in any civil wars again. The president set the proper tone: Put it behind us. Bind up the wounds.”

Read MacNeil’s five-page report at: macneil_reports_saigon.pdf