3 November 1969: President Nixon’s “Silent Majority” Speech

On 3 November 1969, President Nixon addressed the American nation in what has been termed as his “Silent Majority” speech from the White House. In the speech, Nixon explained the situation in Vietnam and the reasons for America’s continued involvement in the war, like President Johnson before him, and President Kennedy before him. He also formalised his new policy, the Nixon Doctrine, explaining the plan of Vietnamisationwithin the new policy:

“I rejected the recommendation that I should end the war by immediately withdrawing all of our forces. I chose instead to change American policy on both the negotiating front and the battlefront. In order to end the war on many fronts, I initiated the pursuit for peace on many fronts.”

Excerpt from President Richard Nixon’s “Silent Majority” speech (07:18)

President Richard Nixon Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam, November 3, 1969, published by the Richard Nixon Library.

No doubt, Nixon’s address was designed to placate the growing frustration of anti-war demonstrators in America and around the world, strongly revealed by the recent Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam.

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