Revisit the Vietnam Era With Dick Cavett

Dick Cavetts Vietnam copy

Dick Cavetts Vietnam copy

Dick Cavett’s Vietnam premieres this week on PBS. The one-hour documentary features moments from his successful late-night talk show where visiting politicians and celebrities discuss the conflict in Southeast Asia.

What’s bound to shock anyone who grew up during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is how much Vietnam was part of the national discussion: everyone had a opinion, many of those opinions were thoughtful, mostly because civilians were educated about the conflict and, because of the draft, almost everyone knew someone whose family was serving in the war.  Another shocking fact: people who really disagree with one another still manage to respect each other. The idea that you might not want to demonize people who disagree with you seems totally alien today.

Check out the promo trailer below or find out when it’s showing where you live by clicking here by entering you local station information on the right side of the page.




  • deane gilmour

    As an actual veteran of Vietnam, I-Corps – 1st MAW 66-67, I tried to watch a PBS Vietnam special last night. It was so full of crap that I had to turn it off after forcing myself to try for the first 35 minutes. What I did notice was that the very protesters ranks shown were full of the very same communist leaning fecal tracks that now hold office in the Fed and many states and cities

  • Chuck Sharkey

    I believe the discerning majority of people will find Dick Cavett’s Vietnam very Interesting. The comments by the historians added context to the TV clips. Great to see the electorate back then engaged in debate about a war. PBS did a great job programming when it scheduled Dick Cavett’s Vietnam to follow “The Draft”.

  • Bikila

    Deane highlights one of the main reasons our country was ripped apart during the Vietnam Era and why it’s so polarized today: the unwillingness of people to try to understand someone who doesn’t agree with them…

  • 1st Cav VN Vet

    When he said in his ny times piece “that he was a friend of Jane”. He divided us again and lost me forever.

  • Bill

    I served in Vietnam as an 11B. Took several years after to learn just how money drove things to keep us there until the US population could no longer tolerate the idea. I thought that our nation would never be led into another conflict by misinformation in order to make money for a small group of men that controlled who got paid. Seems that will never change.

  • C.V. Compton Shaw

    The PBS documentary, “The Last Days in Vietnam”, which documents the horrible tragedies, individually and collectively,of the peoples and nations of South Vietnam, after our abandonment of the same and through our abrogation of our solemn treaties to the same, was shown on PBS immediately after the PBS Vietnam Special. The political and factual contrasts between these two PBS shows further exemplified the malice, treachery, and political subversion of the anti-war crowd, treacherous politicians, and a treacherous establishment media.

  • Ernest Huerta

    On 30 April 1975 North Vietnamese combat units entered Saigon, South Vietnam and accepted the unconditional surrender of that government. South Vietnam now exists only in the memories who those members who served in the American Military. We came back with the wounds that scared our bodies and minds. We were treated badly by those Americans who gloated and laughed as the labeled us losers. Even some veterans of Korea and WW2 expressed their contempt WE who lost lost the first war in US History. Even though the US Army Vietnam had never lost a battle and never accorded the same respect veterans of the previous two wars had received. A great majority of us veterans withdrew into ourselves with our ghosts and demons. Blame and taunts came from all directions. Painful and unfair labels were used to identify us as “cry-baby’s”, dope addicts, misfits and disgraceful. Many of us turned to liquor and drugs in attempts to dull the painful memories. Many of us ended our lives after having survived Vietnam. The VA didn’t recognize the symptoms so in their minds THEYDIDN’T EXIST. Others began suffering rare and unusual forms of diseases and cancers totally out of proportion to other men in our age groups. When Agent Orange was finally determined to be the root cause of diseases being suffered by uncountable numbers of Veterans of Vietnam, for many it was too late. They had died, never to enjoy the pleasures and carefree living those who avoided the draft with college differements, parties, the good life and “dope, sex and rock & roll!” .

    • deane gilmour

      AND virtually nothing was done for these vets until 1986 when the VA finally diagnosed PTSD and began acknowledging the problems from Agent orange exposure for the veterans and their offspring. I had a member of our college veteran’s club in the mid 70’s who had not one but two children born with spinabifida, due to his agent orange exposure in I-Corps. His experience scared the hell out me with my children. Lucky only one had symptoms from my exposure. she was born with an audial nerve problem that requires her now to wear hearing aids that the VA and govt. still refuses to take care. she was diagnosed with the problem after we found that she could not hear well but had taught herself how to lip read. doctors at Children’s hospital parkland, Dallas found the problem and when they found out that I was a Viet vet they stated that maybe it was from my exposure. I have a problem and have had for decades with BPH, hearing, and nerve damage but it was only seriously addressed by the VA over past 5 years.

    • deaqne gilmour

      And being draft deferred due to getting a job with the Peace Corps that was a major hiding place for high level Democrats kids and all but guaranteed them a lucrative job and retirement in the federal sector when they completed their tour.

  • L. utter

    Does anyone remember that Lady Bird Johnston, former POTUS wife owned PA & E which had the contract to furnish supplies to the US Forces in Viet Nam, this is fact as far as I have been told, any comments to this as being as it is.????

    • deane gilmour

      And major stock in Cooper Airmotive of Dallas doing refurb of helicopters and C-130’s from Nam and also heavy interest in Triton Oil doing oil exploration in Nam while Aim was there in 66-67. I worked for D&B after my stint in the Corps and found documents relating to these very things in the Dallas files. Not surprisingly those files disappeared within a few months after I found them and was trying to find a way to make copies to get out of the building. We had some fellows from the home office in NYC spend a week or so in the Dallas regional office and that’s when they disappeared.

  • purpleheartpark

    If you haven’t seen it or remember it, Go back and Watch the Academy Award Winner Best Documentary from1974, Hearts and Minds…Really laid it out at a Time when we didn’t have a lot of time to Look Back…….Gotta Love John Kerry….