The Vietnam War began in 1954. The war started due to rising tensions between the communist and Soviet backed North Vietnamese and the South Vietnamese, which had the support of the United States. United States involvement in the war ended in 1973, although the conflict didn't fully end until 1975.
The United States pledged public support for Ngo Dinh Diem, President of the democratic Government of the Republic of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was the communist leader and founder of the Viet Minh and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which was based in the north. By 1969, the United States involvement included 500,000 U.S. military personnel.