In January 1973, the Paris Peace Accords brought a formal end to the Vietnam War. But in April 1975, the North Vietnamese Army ignored the terms of the treaty and captured Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam.
As the army approached, the U.S. hastily evacuated some 6,000 American citizens and South Vietnamese nationals. Many climbed a ladder on the roof of the American embassy to flee by helicopter. That ladder is on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.