For the first time there was extensive media coverage of the war beamed back to people back home in the form of video footage and photographs. The true extent of the war was seen by the millions of American’s back home, and the images they saw caused a strong anti-war movement, led by thousands or college students and notable celebrities including World heavy-weight boxing champion Muhammad Ali and singer songwriter Bob Dylan.
The demonstrations in the US not only kept the anti-war movement in the headlines, it meant the media kept the developments of the war itself in the headlines, it wasn’t just a foreign war, the numbers of dead US troops and images coming back from the war meant it felt a lot closer to home.
In one of the defining images of the Vietnam War, General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes Vietcong suspect Nguyen Van Lem, who was said to have overseen the murder of many South Vietnamese Police officers and their families. The picture, shot by photojournalist Eddie Adams won the Pulitzer Prize and shows the brutality of war.
The picture and video footage was shown around the world and the image became a symbol of the anti-war stance, with some claiming the South Vietnamese were just as capable of cruelty as those of the Vietcong. Adams later regretted taking the photo, because it served both the anti-war feeling and ruined the general’s reputation, who he regarded as a great man.
This image captured the final moments of the Vietnam War, where a helicopter is rescuing CIA operatives and Vietnamese refugees from the top of an apartment building.
With the city of Saigon surrounded by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, the city was set to fall within hours; this image captured the dramatic events and became the symbol of the fall of Saigon and the end of the war.