That same month, Kennedy himself was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, inherited the Vietnam situation. Johnson wanted to focus on instituting “Great Society” programs at home, but Vietnam was a snake he did not dare let go of. His political party, the Democrats, had been blamed for China falling to communism; withdrawing from Vietnam could hurt them in the 1964 elections. On the other hand, Congress had never declared war and so the president was limited in what he could do in Southeast Asia.
Ho spent the summer in Paris trying to lock in the agreement, but the French government was purposely evasive, as it was conspiring to undermine Vietnamese independence. Ho was nevertheless well received in the French media. A French reporter who met him noted his “engaging manner and extraordinary gift for making contact,” which “at once brought a warm and direct exchange of views and gave a startlingly fresh ring to commonplace words.”  Ho returned to Vietnam in October and appealed to the Vietnamese people for patience. The French, however, showed their hand on November 22, 1946. Using a dispute over control of customs in Haiphong as a pretext, French warships bombarded the unprotected port city, killing at least 6,000 and wounding some 25,000. On December 19, Ho issued a call for “nationwide resistance”:
Mothers and older generations of women joined the opposition movement, as advocates for peace and people opposed to the effects of the war and the draft on the generation of young men. These women saw the draft as one of the most disliked parts of the war machine and sought to undermine the war itself through undermining the draft. Another Mother for Peace and WSP often held free draft counseling centers to give young men legal and illegal methods to oppose the draft.  Members of Women For Peace showed up at the White House every Sunday for 8 years from 11 to 1 for a peace vigil.  Such female antiwar groups often relied on maternalism, the image of women as peaceful caretakers of the world, to express and accomplish their goals. The government often saw middle-aged women involved in such organizations as the most dangerous members of the opposition movement because they were ordinary citizens who quickly and efficiently mobilized.