The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War   by John White

          The war in Vietnam essentially began in 1964 in response to what the American  government claimed was an unprovoked attack upon two U.S. naval ships, the destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951), while they were steaming peacefully on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam. Although there already was a U.S. military presence in Vietnam, the Tonkin events led to congressional action which allowed President Lyndon Johnson (and, later, President Richard Nixon) to escalate U.S. military presence enormously and to wage war  in Vietnam and also covertly in Southeast Asia. A 1967 letter to the editor in the New Haven Register  was instrumental in pressuring the Johnson administration to tell the truth about how the war was started. The letter – from Cheshire resident John White – became an international sensation. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin events, White documents his role and its aftermath, both personal and political in a recently released book entitled  “The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam” which he will discuss at a book talk and signing  Wednesday, Sept. 10,  in the auditorium of the Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand St  at 6:30 p.m.
     John White is an internationally known author who writes about the human mind and spirituality and their relationship to social and political affairs. He has published sixteen  books and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Esquire, Woman’s Day and numerous other publications. His books have been translated into ten languages. Born in 1939, he holds degrees from Dartmouth College (B.A., 1961) and Yale University (M.A., 1969) and  has taught English and journalism on the secondary and college levels. He served four years as a U.S. naval officer, primarily in antisubmarine warfare and nuclear weaponry. In 1972, he worked with Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell who founded The Institute of Noetic Sciences, a research organization that studies the human potential for personal and planetary transformation.
     The public is invited.  The program is free.