Pinback button supporting President Richard Nixon and his Vietnam War policy, c. 1970.
In a famous televised address given on Nov. 3, 1969, Nixon defended his Vietnam policy, saying that while peace was the shared objective of all Americans, lasting peace could not be achieved by unilateral withdrawal; that there had to be a "just peace" or none at all. Calling war protesters a "vocal minority," he claimed to have the backing of "the great silent majority" of Americans. "I pledged in my campaign for the Presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace.... The more support I can have from the American people, the sooner that pledge can be redeemed." Popular support for the war would be undermined later that month, when revelations of the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made headlines.