Friday, September 02, 2005

Declaration of independence of Vietnam, Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square

Garrison Keillor tells us that "It's the anniversary of the independence of Vietnam in 1945. The region had been a French colony for decades, but during WWII, Japan
conquered the French forces there and took control. In August, 1945,
though, when the Allies defeated Japan, there was a sudden power
vacuum in Vietnam, and the Communist Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh
moved to fill it. He'd fought alongside the US during the war, and on
September 2, the day WWII officially ended, he appeared in front of a
crowd in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square and used lines lifted from the
American Declaration of Independence--and proclaimed Vietnam a
free state: He said, 'All men are born equal: the Creator has given us
inviolable rights of life, liberty, and happiness...' "

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