The stereotype of "liberal Hollywood" was etched into stone when director Peter Davis and producer Bert Schneider took the stage at the Oscars on April 8, 1975. Receiving the best documentary award for their incendiary Vietnam War film "Hearts and Minds," Schneider read out a telegram expressing greetings from the Vietnamese people and the Provisional Revolutionary Government, to both applause and hissing.

Vietnam was still an open wound, but three weeks later, it would all be over, as the last American helicopters evacuated the embassy in Saigon. The war had been such a long, divisive nightmare that, once finished, it seemed like America wanted nothing more than to forget.

At least one lesson was learned by all: Endless counter-insurgency wars in countries where people didn't want you were not a good idea. This knowledge held for a good two generations, until America got enmeshed in slipshod wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, launched by the Vietnam draft-evading triumvirate of then-President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.