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My Lai massacre

In one of the most horrific incidents of violence against civilians during the Vietnam War, a company of American soldiers brutally killed the majority of the population of the South Vietnamese village of My Lai on 16 March 1968.

Though exact numbers were never confirmed, it is believed that as many as 500 people were killed in the My Lai Massacre, including women, children and the elderly.

Higher-ranking US Army officers managed to cover up the events of that day for a year before revelations by a soldier sparked a wave of international outrage and led to a special investigation into the matter.

The brutality of the My Lai killings and the extent of the cover-up aggravated growing antiwar sentiment on the homefront in the United States and further divided the nation over the continuing American presence in Vietnam.