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By 1975, Vietnam was off the Gallup Poll list of top issues in the US. Outside of concern for remaining POWs still in Vietnam, Americans became less and less concerned with events in the country. Nonetheless, the war had lasting impacts. It inspired a public distrust of the US government and made the military less popular, at least in the short term. The draft has not been used since. President Reagan tried to follow the Weinberger Doctrine, "No More Vietnams." In 1982, Yale student Maya Ying Lin's design for the Vietnam War Memorial was built in Washington DC, a permanent monument to the American casualties of the war.
Another monument to the Vietnam War is the role it continues to play in American popular culture. Angels from Hell (1968), Satan's Sadists (1969), Chrome and Hot Leather (1971), The Losers (1971), and Taxi Driver (1976) deal with Vietnam veterans' difficulties with life after returning to the US. Tracks (1976), Who'll Stop the Rain (1978), Between Heaven and Earth (1994), and The War (1994) deal also deal with veterans scarred by the war. Other films such as Coming Home (1978), The Deer Hunter (1978), and Born on the Fourth of July(1989) depict veterans' mostly successful struggles to cope with life after the war. Apocalypse Now (1979) made officers villains, but An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Lords of Discipline (1983), Taps(1981), and Private Benjamin (1980) portrayed the military involved in Vietnam more positively. From Rambo (1982) to Platoon (1986) to Full Metal Jacket (1987), movie depictions of the Vietnam experience have varied a great deal.
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- Navigate Here - Context General Summary Terms, People, Events Timeline ----- Historical Background Vietnamese Nationalism (1927-1954) Dien Bien Phu (1954) Cold War Context of US Involvement (1946-55) South Vietnam under Diem (1955-60) JFK and Vietnam (1961-63) Americanization of the War (1963-65) Increasing American Involvement (1965) The Tet Offensive (1966-1968) Domestic Opposition to the War (1964-69) Nixon and Withdrawal (1969-74) After the War (1975-) ----- Study Questions Further Reading