Learning Exercise

The My Lai Trail

The My Lai Trail represents circumstances in which American soldiers went to far against a perceived enemy. This site examines the case and the arguments on both sides.
Course: U.S. History

This is a site for law students. It includes notes about important constitutional issues, links to Supreme Court... see more


Instructions: CLICK "go to material." SCROLL down to the bottom of the page. CLICK "Famous Trials." CLICK "My Lai." READ "My Lai: An Account." Answer the following questions: 1. Where was My Lai and what happened there during the Vietnam War?, 2. Who were Ernest Medina, William Calley, and Oran Henderson?, 3. Summarize the content of the four Documents relating to the Law of War, 4. Summarize Westmoreland's Peers Report, 5. Summarize the Recommendations coming from the investigation, 6. Who wee F. Lee Bailey, Sgt. Paul Meadle, Hugh Thompson; 7. Summarize the charges and the verdicts against Calley and Medina, 8. How did My Lai affect U.S. opinions about the Vietnam War?, 9. Was their a coverup about what happened at My Lai?, 10. What was the critical evidence against the defendants that led to conviction?, 11. What ultimately happened to Calley and Medina?


Vietnam War; My Lai; Lyndon Johnson; William Westmoreland.

Learning Objectives

To evaluate the cirumstances of an example of military excess during the Vietnam War.