GBH Openvault

Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; One Day in Laos

Part of The Vietnam Collection.


South Vietnamese troops build strategic fire base in Laos. Sophia is in one of the deepest fire bases inside Laos. In its first two days it has received 200 incoming artillery rounds. Men have not had time yet to fully dig in and are living in flimsy tents. The base commandos a full view of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The base depends on US Army choppers for food, ammunition and water, and the choppers take out those who die. _-_ Incomplete firebase sitting on the tip of a ridge. Men digging out bunkers. Temporary tents. Air view of the base. Valley and river below the firebase with rear view of South Vietnamese soldier in foreground. Woods cleared of trees. Men filling sandbags. Bulldozer pushes dirt to build bunker. Men standing by anti-aircraft gun in foreground. Anti-aircraft gun firing. Chopper in flight, landing. Men carrying body wrapped in poncho and tied to bamboo poles to chopper. Men carry wounded man on a stretcher to Red Cross truck. Men checking name tags of bodies wrapped in ponchos lying on the ground. Close up of faces of men as they view bodies. Interview with firebase commander, Colonel Chung. He says there has been combat in the field but so far there have been no ground attacks on the firebase, just shelling. Air views of ground fires in area below the firebase. Rear view of Red Cross truck pulling away with wounded men on stretchers lying in the back. _-_ _-_ This item consists of raw, unpackaged, news materials relating to the US military involvement in Laos.

License Clip
Vietnam: A Television History
Cambodia and Laos
Program Number



One Day in Laos

Series Description

This 13 part series covers the history of Vietnam from France's colonial control, through the 1945 revolution, to the 1975 U.S. evacuation from Saigon and the years beyond. The series' objective approach permits viewers to form their own conclusions about the war. 101--Roots of a War--Despite cordial relations between American intelligence officers and Communist leader Ho Chi Minh in the turbulent closing months of World War II, French and British hostility to the Vietnamese revolution laid the groundwork for a new war. 102--The First Vietnam War (1946-1954)--The French generals expected to defeat Ho's rag-tag Vietminh guerrillas easily, but after eight years of fighting and $2.5 billion in U.S. aid, the French lost a crucial battle at Dienbienphu--and with it, their Asian empire. 103--America's Mandarin (1954-1963)--To stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, America replaced France in South Vietnam--supporting autocratic President Ngo Dinyh Diem until his own generals turned against him in a coup that brought political chaos to Saigon. 104--LBJ Goes to War (1964-1965)--With Ho Chi Minh determined to reunite Vietnam, Lyndon Baines Johnson determined to prevent it, and South Vietnam on the verge of collapse, the stage was set for massive escalation of the undeclared Vietnam War. 105--America Takes Charge (1965-1967)--In two years, the Johnson Administration's troop build-up dispatched 1.5 million Americans to Vietnam to fight a war they found baffling, tedious, exciting, deadly and unforgettable. 106--America's Enemy (1954-1967)--The Vietnam War as seen from different perspectives: by Vietcong guerrillas and sympathizers; by North Vietnamese leaders; by rank and file; and by American held prisoner in Hanoi. 107--Tet (1968)--The massive enemy offensive at the Lunar New Year decimated the Vietcong and failed to topple the Saigon government, but led to the beginning of America's military withdrawal. 108--Vietnamizing the War (1968-1973)--President Nixon's program of troop pull-outs, stepped-up bombing and huge arms shipments to Saigon changed the war, and left GI's wondering which of them would be the last to die in Vietnam. 109--Cambodia and Laos--Despite technical neutrality, both of Vietnam's smaller neighbors were drawn into the war, suffered massive bombing, and in the case of Cambodia, endured a post-war holocaust of nightmare proportions. 110--Peace is at Hand (1968-1973)--While American and Vietnamese continued to clash in battle, diplomats in Paris argued about making peace, after more than four years reaching an accord that proved to be a preface to further bloodshed. 111--Homefront USA--Americans at home divide over a distant war, clashing in the streets as demonstrations lead to bloodshed, bitterness and increasing doubts about the outcome. 112--The End of the Tunnel (1973-1975)--Through troubled years of controversy and violence, U.S. casualties mounted, victory remained elusive and American opinion moved from general approval to general dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. 113--Legacies--Vietnam is in the Soviet orbit, poorer than ever, at war on two fronts; America's legacy includes more than one half million Asian refugees, one half million Vietnam veterans and some questions that won't go away. Series release date: 9/1983

Program Description

Despite technical neutrality, both of Vietnam's smaller neighbors were drawn into the war, suffered massive bombing, and in the case of Cambodia, endured a post-war holocaust of nightmare proportions.



Asset Type

Stock footage

Media Type


Military bases
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Campaigns--Laos
Ho Chi Minh Trail
War and Conflict
Ellison, Richard (Series Producer)
Williams, Jeff (Reporter)
Publication Information
CBS News
Rights Summary

Footage courtesy of CBS News Archive Rights Holder: CBS News (

Chicago: “Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; One Day in Laos,” 03/09/1971, GBH Archives, accessed December 6, 2021,
MLA: “Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; One Day in Laos.” 03/09/1971. GBH Archives. Web. December 6, 2021. <>.
APA: Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; One Day in Laos. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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