Panel Five

On 27 January 1973, representatives from the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the Communist government of North Vietnam) met in Paris, France and officially signed the “Agreement on Ending War and Restoring Peace to Vietnam.” Also known as the “Paris Peace Accords,” the agreement established timelines for the cease-fire, the withdrawal of American troops, the release of prisoners of war (POWs), and the accounting of service members missing in action (MIAs). The peace settlement also specified the continued support, though limited, the United States would provide to the South Vietnamese once American forces pulled out.

From the date the Peace Accords were signed, the American military had 60 days to dismantle bases in South Vietnam, clear mines in Vietnamese waters, and evacuate its troops. By the end of March, the last American combat troops departed Vietnam and on 4 April 1973, the last of the POWs left for the United States. Two years later, in 1975, the Communist seized control of South Vietnam and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.