The Vietnam War was a war that occurred from 1959 to 1975 in the normal timeline, and resulted in the Communist North Vietnamese takeover of Vietnam. Though the United States had been a major participant in the war, by 2015, relations between the U.S. and Vietnam had improved to the point that USAir advertisements for surfing there were seen in downtown Hill Valley.
In 1985A, however, the war was still ongoing under the lengthened administration of President Richard Nixon. Thankfully, after Marty McFly burned the Grays Sports Almanac in 1955, the timeline was restored and this never happened.
Behind the scenes
- The "Surf Vietnam" advertisement seen in 2015 may have been a reference to the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now, which took place during the Vietnam War. In one scene, Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore ordered his men to capture a particular village near a beach so that he could go surfing there.
- In real life, Vietnam and the United States had restored diplomatic relations in 1995.
- The war was very controversial in its time in the United States, following the 1965 escalation, a lot of (especially young) people were protesting the drafts. In the original draft of the second movie, where Marty went back to 1967, he was arrested for not having a draft card in his possession, and would be bailed out by his own mother, Lorraine Baines McFly, who at this point was an active participant in an anti-war group and was impressed by him, thinking he was a draft resister. Meanwhile, her 17-year old brother Toby, with poor grades unlikely to make university, was eagerly looking forward to participating in the war to "kick some commie butt", while his father Sam Baines thinks that he probably won't have to go, as General William Westmoreland (at the time the real-life commander of United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam and future United States Army Chief of Staff) has said that the war will be over by January 1968. In reality, the war would continue on until 1975, with active American involvement dying down by 1972-1973.
- Back to the Future Part II (1985A newspaper)