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"Stick 'em up!" June 9, 1964

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The political cartoon is a black and white image of LBJ and a Vietnamese soldier.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Valtman, Edmund S., "Stick 'em up!" The Hartford Times, 9 June 1964


This political cartoon shows the irony of the conflict in Vietnam. At the time the cartoon was created, the United States had the most advanced nuclear arsenal, however, all of the advanced technology did not guarantee the U.S. a victory in Vietnam. Following the events at the Gulf of Tonkin, the United States, especially under President Lyndon B. Johnson, continually deployed more soldiers to the region. The cartoon depicts the months before the Gulf of Tonkin when the U.S. had begun reinforcing air power to the region because of North Vietnamese offensives in Laos. The cartoon shows a Viet Cong soldier labeled "Guerrilla Warfare" standing at the edge of tall grass, pointing a handgun labeled "Conventional Arms" at a startled President Johnson, who is carrying atomic bombs under his arms and a sign that reads, "Mightiest Nation in History LBJ."

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What does the political cartoon communicate about public support for Vietnam prior to the Gulf of Tonkin?
  • What does the image communicate about the role technology should have played in the conflict? How does the image communicate how the U.S. believed their technological superiority would impact the conflict?

Citation Information 

Valtman, Edmund S., "Stick 'em up!" The Hartford Times, 9 June 1964. Courtesy of Library of Congress