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In the summer of 1975, Vietnamese children sing and play Ring Around the Rosie while learning English words. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps.

Two days before the war ended—on April 30, 1975, when Saigon fell—Marine General Paul Graham received a call that Camp Pendleton was to be one of four military bases to receive a mass influx of Vietnamese immigrants. By the next morning the immigrants had begun to arrive and, in less than 24 hours, the base managed to construct temporary housing, in the form of tent cities, for 18,000 people. Most of the refugees brought only the clothes they were wearing.