This Week in HistoryThis Week in History: Week 11 (16 March 1968)

US Troops Kill Vietnamese Villagers

US soldiers kill hundreds of men, women and children in the Vietnamese village of My Lai.

In 1968, US soldiers entered My Lai village in Vietnam and killed hundreds of unarmed men, women and children. The soldiers were led by Lieutenant William Calley, who was later charged with murder and sentenced to life in prison. Two days later, President Richard Nixon ordered his release and Calley spent 42 months under house arrest before being freed by a federal judge. None of the other soldiers were ever charged in relation to the massacre.

troops (noun): soldiers
unarmed (adjective): without weapons (such as guns)
charge (verb): blame for a crime
sentence (verb): hand out a punishment
house arrest (noun): form of punishment that confines someone to their own home
massacre (noun): the killing or murder of many people

American soldiers killed hundreds of men, women and children in the My Lai massacre
Between 347 (US Army figures) and 504 (Vietnamese government records) men, women and children, including babies, were murdered by American soldiers in the My Lai massacre during the American War in Vietnam.

Mini Quiz

1. The people who were killed by US soldiers at My Lai village were
a) Vietnamese soldiers
b) armed terrorists
c) unarmed civilians

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2. Lt William Calley was found guilty of murder for ordering the massacre and spent
a) two days in jail
b) two years in jail
c) twenty years in jail

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3. Which of the following is the best definition of the word "massacre"?
a) a violent fight between many people
b) the brutal murder of many people
c) an accident in which many people die

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Contributor: Matt Errey creator of Word Up