Miller Center

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

This Day in History: Nixon Announces Conclusion of Peace Agreement with Vietnam

Richard Nixon Addresses the Nation on Conclusion of Peace Accords with Vietnam, January 23, 1973.

Forty years ago today, President Richard Nixon announced to the nation that the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam had finally concluded an agreement to end the war in Vietnam. Nixon had promised to end the Vietnam War in his campaign for the presidency in 1968. In his reelection campaign in 1972, he once again promised to end the war in Vietnam in such a way as to ensure a "a full generation of peace."

In his address on January 23, 1973, Nixon told the nation:

We must recognize that ending the war is only the first step toward building the peace. All parties must now see to it that this is a peace that lasts, and also a peace that heals—and a peace that not only ends the war in Southeast Asia but contributes to the prospects of peace in the whole world.

The official cease-fire, along with the release of all American prisoners of war, went into effect on January 28, though troops remained in Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in 1975.