My Lai massacre


My Lai massacre
an incident that occurred during the Vietnam War on 16 March 1968. A group of US soldiers killed 347 ordinary people, including women and children, in the Vietnamese village of My Lai. In 1971, the officer who ordered the attack, Lieutenant William Calley, was sent to prison for life, but this was later reduced to 10 years and he was in fact released in 1974. Many Americans were shocked by the incident, and as a result protests against the war increased.

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(March 16, 1968) Mass killing of as many as 500 unarmed villagers by U.S. soldiers in the hamlet of My Lai during the Vietnam War.

A company of U.S. soldiers on a search-and-destroy mission against the hamlet found no armed Viet Cong there but nonetheless killed all the elderly men, women, and children they could find; few villagers survived. The incident was initially covered up by high-ranking army officers, but it was later made public by former soldiers. In the ensuing courts-martial, platoon leader Lt. William Calley was accused of directing the killings and was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison; but Pres. Richard Nixon intervened on his behalf, and he was paroled after three years. The massacre and other atrocities revealed during the trial divided the U.S. public and contributed to growing disillusionment with the war.

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▪ United States-Vietnamese history
 mass killing of as many as 500 unarmed villagers by U.S. soldiers in the hamlet of My Lai on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.

      My Lai was located in the province of Quang Ngai, an area believed to be a stronghold of the Viet Cong and thus a focus of the U.S. military. After receiving word that Viet Cong were in the hamlet, a company of U.S. soldiers was sent there on a search-and-destroy mission. Although no armed Viet Cong were found, the soldiers nonetheless killed all the elderly men, women, and children they could find; few villagers survived. The incident was initially covered up by high-ranking army officers, but it was later made public by former soldiers. In the ensuing courts-martial, platoon leader Lieutenant William Calley was accused of directing the killings, and in 1971 he was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison; five other soldiers were tried and acquitted. Many, however, believed that Calley had been made a scapegoat, and in 1974 he was paroled. The massacre and other atrocities revealed during the trial divided the U.S. public and contributed to growing disillusionment with the war.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • My Lai Massacre — This article is about the massacre. For the hamlet, see My Lai, Vietnam. Coordinates: 15°10′42″N 108°52′10″E / 15.17833°N 108.86944°E / …   Wikipedia

  • My Lai massacre — My Lai mas|sa|cre, the a village in Vietnam where, in 1968, a group of US soldiers killed several hundred people, mostly old people, women, and children, during the Vietnam War. This event influenced many Americans to oppose the war …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • My Lai massacre — Vietnam War incident in 1968 in which American troops killed over 500 inhabitants of a Vietnamese village with no apparent provocation …   English contemporary dictionary

  • (the) My Lai massacre — the My Lai massacre [the My Lai massacre] an incident that occurred during the ↑Vietnam War on 16 March 1968. A group of US soldiers killed 347 ordinary people, including women and children, in the Vietnamese village of My Lai. In 1971, the… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Massacre de Mỹ Lai — 15°10′42″N 108°52′10″E / 15.17833, 108.86944 …   Wikipédia en Français

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