#OTD20 | October 26, 1955
October 26, 1955: Ngo Dinh Diem audaciously proclaims the Republic of Vietnam, appointing himself as its inaugural president.
In a period characterized by decolonization and Cold War tensions, Vietnam finds itself at a crossroads, torn between differing visions of its future.
Diem's declaration marks a significant departure from the traditional monarchic rule, as the last emperor, Bao Dai, is ousted from power, and a new republic was ushered in.
"The destiny of our homeland is in our hands, solely in our hands." - Ngo Dinh Diem
With the proclamation of the Republic of Vietnam, Diem's leadership comes to profoundly influence the trajectory of South Vietnam, especially in its relations with the Communist North and its position in the global Cold War theater.
The events of that day in 1955 remain a focal point in Vietnamese history, highlighting the nation's struggle for sovereignty, identity, and its place on the world stage.
America's long involvement in Southeast Asia is chronicled in our eye-opening video survey, "Vietnam," from AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY.
Access more information from Media Rich Learning and curated off-site sources.