Vietnam War Era Bumper Stickers
Bumper stickers express the sentiments of a divided nation
The Vietnam War was incredibly divisive for Americans. These 12 bumper stickers reflect both sides of the debate.
The Vietnam War was a conflict between the communist Viet Minh of North Vietnam and the non-communist regime of South Vietnam. Believing communism would spread rapidly to other Southeast Asian countries if South Vietnam fell, the United States supported South Vietnam. Opposition to the war steadily escalated as more American lives and money were spent on the war. By 1967, almost 500,000 American troops were in Vietnam. American casualties had reached 15,058 killed and 109,527 wounded. Up to 40,000 men were drafted each month, and the U.S. was spending $25 billion a year on war efforts. News reports gave Americans an unprecedented view of wartime events and atrocities, leading many to question the morality of U.S. involvement. In 1968, only 35 percent of Americans approved of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Supporters and protesters voiced their opinions in many ways, one of which was the classic bumper sticker. The stickers showing support for the war suggest peace will only be obtained if our side wins, and that it is our patriotic duty to serve in the military or support our soldiers. The anti-war stickers question the ethics of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia, call simply for peace, or call for the removal of President Nixon.
The United States withdrew in 1973, but fighting continued until 1975 when South Vietnam fell to communist forces. Over 58,000 Americans, 3,415 of whom were Texans, and 2 million Vietnamese lost their lives during the conflict.
Courtesy Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
Time Period: 1946 - 1970
This artifact is currently on view.