1966 Miranda V. Arizona

“which required police to inform arrestees of their right to remain silent, that anything they said might be used against them, and that they had a right to have an attorney present during questioning.” (page 238)

This court case decision was a major decision that greatly impacts the way law enforcement officials work today.  Most of us know and joke about our Miranda rights from the television shows and movies we see about police officers.  However, people may take for granted our Miranda Rights which aren’t guaranteed in other nations around the world.  If arrestees are not read their miranda rights by a specific period during their arrest process, it may be used for their freedom during court.

The Tet Offensive

(p.242)“On January 31, 1968, during the Tet Lunar New Year holiday, communist guerillas, supplemented in some places by regular North Vietnamese army units, launched a massive offensive that included attacks on thirty-six provincial capitals and five of the six largest South Vietnamese cities.”


At the time Tet Offensive occurred American people have been fed up with the war. A lot of protesters on the street, a lot of arguing and disagreement were happening. If before the Tet the White House had been telling to American society that there was still a “light at the end of the tunnel” and that the victory was possible and close, so after the Tet it was clear that there was neither light nor any hope. The Tet became a turning point in the war mainly because of the media. The horrible events were captured on cameras and showed on TV’s of millions of people all over the world. On the one hand, this was embarrassing for the White House and its officials who tried to portray the war as if it was for the better and freer life for Vietnamese people. On the other hand, it was very clear that a peasant country like Vietnam humbled a military hegemony like The United States of America.

“National Advisory Commission for Civil Disorder”

P. 240

In response to the Newark and Detroit riots, Johnson appointed the National Advisory Commission for Civil Disorder, headed by Illinois governor Otto Kerner. The Kerner Commission produced impressive and thoroughly liberal report on the riots, which became a national best seller.

National Advisory Commission for Civil Disorder really shed light on the underlying causes behind the riots that took place during the 1960’s to the American public. Many Americans were unaware of the root causes of the riots. These causes typically were over unjust police practices, unemployment and the housing segregation. The Commission recommended job creation, rebuilding inner cities and giving additional funding to educational institutions in order to defuse and prevent further riots. Generally, these ideas were what the Johnson administration had in mind when talking about “The Great Society” however few were actually applied. After the reports were published, Johnson rejected the suggestions because he didn’t see the political basis for applying them and didn’t have funding to put them in place due to the rising costs of the Vietnam War.


Lyndon B. Johnson

President Johnson expanded the United States’ involvement  in Vietnam from middle course, under Kennedy’s rule-to a full blown attack. Privately, Johnson expressed his worry of being blamed  for supporting an unpopular war, despite that his administration inflated the role of the military. Johnson and his administration had difficulty explaining their actions, although their main goal was to prevent a communist victory and to “maintain the credibility of the United States in carrying out its commitments.” (pg 228) Besides being blamed for  allowing communism to triumph, Johnson still worried about being criticized by conservatives if his efforts in the war failed. Although it was well aware that “if the public had a clear understanding of the situation in Indochina, it would reject either the war or domestic reform during it.” (pg. 231) Johnson believed that by progressing involvement in the war, yet disturbing domestic life of Americans as little as possible, he would be able to maintain public support and evade a negative view on his presidency. He did this by giving the public misleading information, and giving false statements about the proposal to increase troops. This fake “official optimism” did more damage than it did good, as skepticism grew within the military, it weakened willpower in combat and set the country up for future disappointment. Freeman discusses this facade being used by Johnson to explain the feeling of an approaching “apocalypse”  within American society. As the war in Vietnam escalated, so did the confusion and chaos, leaving a sense of uncertainty about the future of America. President Johnson initially saw Vietnam as a “limited” war, unalike the unrestrained global battles that the country was used to from the beginning of the twentieth century. Surprisingly it had turned into a dragged out race that was politically and economically draining, leaving the country wounded ideologically and causing differences between interest groups to become more distinct, perpetuating the country in its political and social divisions for time to come.