The Ngo Dinh Diem presidential visit to Australia from 2 to 9 September
1957 was an official visit by the first President of the Republic of
Vietnam. It was part of a year of traveling for Diem, who made official
visits to the United States and other anti-communist countries. As with
his American trip, Diem was warmly and lavishly received during the
height of the Cold War, garnering bipartisan praise from both the
Liberal Party of Australia of Prime Minister Robert Menzies and the
opposition Australian Labor Party. He was universally extolled by the
media, which praised him for what they perceived to be a successful,
charismatic, democratic and righteous rule in South Vietnam,
overlooking his authoritarianism, election fraud and other corrupt
practices. Diem's visit was a highmark in relations between Australia
and South Vietnam. Over time, Diem became unpopular with his foreign
allies, who began to criticise his autocratic style and religious bias.
By the time of his assassination, he had little support. Australia
later sent troops to support South Vietnam in the anti-communist fight,
but the bipartisanship evaporated during the mid-1960s as the ALP began
to sympathise with North Vietnam and opposition to the war grew. The
ALP later withdrew support for and refused to accept refugees from
South Vietnam after winning office, but on the return of the
centre-right Liberal-National coalition to power in 1975, Vietnamese
refugees were allowed to resettle in Australia in large numbers.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade,
declaring holy war against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land
and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.
American Indian Wars: George Armstrong Custer's 7th U.S. Cavalry
defeated Chief Black Kettle and the Cheyenne Indians on the Washita
River near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma.
Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel signed his last will and
testament, setting aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel
Prize after his death.
San Francisco mayor George Moscone and openly gay supervisor Harvey
Milk were assassinated by supervisor Dan White.
The Labour Party defeated the governing National Party in the New
Zealand general election, making the Labour Party's Helen Clark the
first female to win the office of Prime Minister at an election.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Any of several short-lived herbs or shrubs of the genus Erysimum
with bright yellow to red flowers.
2. A person who is socially awkward, especially one who does not dance
at a party due to shyness
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will
have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.
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