Agent Orange Timeline

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1961: U.S. President John F. Kennedy sends the first military advisers to South Vietnam. Testing of Agent Orange and other herbicides begins in August.

1962: Operation Hades, later renamed Operation Ranch Hand, begins aerial spraying of herbicides, notably Agent Orange.

1965: U.S. troops arrive in Da Nang; aerial raids begin. Agent Orange spraying continues nationwide.

1971: U.S. ends use of Agent Orange after spraying 11.4 million gallons. Remaining stocks are collected at Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Tuy Hoa airbases, re-barreled and shipped to the South Pacific for incineration.

1973: After the Paris Accords are ratified, the U.S. military withdraws from Vietnam.

1991: U.S. Congress approves Agent Orange Act, creating a list of “presumptive illnesses” for which government compensation and medical care will be provided to US Vietnam veterans.

1995: U.S. and Vietnam establish diplomatic relations.

2007: The U.S. Congress appropriates $3 million to address remediation of dioxin hotspots in Vietnam and to support public health programs in the surrounding communities.

2009: Congress appropriates an additional $3 million for the same purposes.

2010: The U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group releases a 10-year Plan of Action to address the long-term impact of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

2010: Congress appropriates an additional $12 million for the same purposes, bringing total 2010 appropriation to $15 million.

2010: Senators Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders visit Da Nang. It is the first ever on the ground investigation of the environmental and human consequences of Agent Orange by a voting member of Congress.

2010: Common Cause CEO and former congressman Bob Edgar leads a delegation of interfaith leaders to Vietnam to learn about the continuing impact of Agent Orange.

2010: Agent Orange advocates convene in 12 cities across the U.S. to work on solutions to the long-term impact of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

2010: Major media organizations including The San Francisco Chronicle and CBS5 News publish stories about the continuing impact of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

2011: Congress appropriates $15.5 million to address the dioxin hot spots in Da Nang, and an additional $3 million to expand health and rehabilitative services in Vietnam.

2011: Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment opens “Vietnam Persistent Organic Pollutants Laboratory,” a $6.75 million state-of-the-art facility funded by the government of Vietnam, Atlantic Philanthropies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is the first high-resolution dioxin testing laboratory in Vietnam.

2011: The U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group host a charity gala in Ho Chi Minh City that raises $150,000 for Agent Orange relief efforts in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. The event is broadcast nationally and features leading celebrity musicians.

2011: Common Cause CEO and former congressman Bob Edgar leads a second delegation of American leaders to Vietnam to learn about the continuing impact of Agent Orange.

2011: The Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes an eight page special report on Agent Orange by Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Connie Schultz and Nick Ut.

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