The arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem, then president of South
Vietnam, marked the culmination of a successful coup d'état led by
General Duong Van Minh in November 1963. On the morning of November 2,
1963, Diem and his adviser and younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu were
arrested after the Army of the Republic of Vietnam had been successful
in a bloody overnight siege on Gia Long Palace in Saigon. The coup was
the end result of nine years of autocratic and nepotistic family rule
in South Vietnam. Discontent with the Diem regime had been simmering
below the surface, and exploded with mass Buddhist protests against
long running religious discrimination after the government shooting of
protesters who defied a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag.
However, when rebel forces entered the palace, the brothers were not
present, as they had escaped the previous night to a loyalist shelter
in Cholon. The brothers had kept in communication with the rebels
through a direct link from the shelter to the palace, and misled them
into believing that they were still in the palace. Soon after, the Ngo
brothers agreed to surrender and were promised safe exile; after being
arrested, they were instead executed in the back of an armoured
personnel carrier by ARVN officers on the journey back to military
headquarters at Tan Son Nhut Air Base.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
French Revolution: Under the terms of a new constitution that was
ratified during the aftermath of the Reign of Terror and the
subsequent Thermidorian Reaction, the Directory succeeded the National
Convention as the executive government of France.
British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued the Balfour
Declaration, proclaiming British support for the establishment of a
Jewish homeland in Palestine.
BBC Television Service launched the world's first regular, public,
high-definition television service.
American industrialist and aviator Howard Hughes flew Spruce Goose,
the largest flying boat ever built, on its maiden flight from the
coast of Long Beach, California, USA.
Expedition 1: American astronaut William Shepherd and Russian
cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko became the first resident
crew to arrive at the International Space Station.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
tmesis: (prosody) The insertion of one or more words between the
components of a compound word.
Wikiquote of the day:
By the theory of our Government majorities rule, but this right is not
an arbitrary or unlimited one. It is a right to be exercised in
subordination to the Constitution and in conformity to it. One great
object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing
minorities or encroaching upon their just rights. Minorities have a
right to appeal to the Constitution as a shield against such
oppression. -- James K. Polk