First reports of the My Lai massacre are published (122 words)

Historical Context Note


On the 20th of November, 1969 several American publications and TV stations covered the story of the My Lai Massacre. On the 16th of March, 1968 a unit of the US Army had rounded up unarmed civilians in the South Vietnam village of My Lai and then had beaten, tortured and killed them. Nearly all the victims were children, women or the elderly and a memorial at the site of the massacre lists 504 names. Initial reports had sought to cover up the tragedy, but investigative journalist Seymour Hersh eventually broke the story, which outraged the public. The small group of US soldiers who had intervened and saved some of the civilians was honoured in 1998 by the award of the Soldier's Medal for their heroism.

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