The Geneva Agreement ended fighting between the French and the Viet Minh in Indochina. To American disapproval, the truce divided Vietnam along the 17th parallel into the Communist North and the anti-Communist South.
In the South Vietnam village of My Lai, American infantrymen murdered more than five hundred men, women, and children. The atrocities at My Lai came to light in the American media in early 1969, stunning the public and helping to turn national opinion against the war.
The Viet Cong were Vietnamese Communist rebels from South Vietnam who fought against the South Vietnamese government and the United States. In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the Viet Cong used guerrilla attacks and developed a sophisticated network of logistics and command structure in the fight to reunify Vietnam under a Communist regime.