Publish Date: May 12, 1975
Cover Story: The End of a Thirty Years’ War
How TIME Covered the News: The Vietnam War ended badly for a weary and frustrated U.S. with the communist North’s capture of the South’s capital, Saigon. Hundreds of thousands had died in the two-decades of the conflict, while anti-war dissent came to define a whole generation in the U.S. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City, after the North’s communist revolutionary leader, and the process of reunification began.
“Thursday, the first morning of “liberation,” was also May Day, and huge parades involving thousands of Communist soldiers and Saigonese citizens were held on flag-festooned streets. In the park in front of the presidential palace, huge numbers of Soviet PT-76 and T-54 tanks, armored cars, artillery pieces and rocket launchers were arrayed. Bus service and garbage collection were quickly restored, and civil servants were reporting for work at government ministries.”