Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
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The Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: 'Tuyên ngôn độc lập Việt Nam Dân chủ Cộng hòa') was written by Hồ Chí Minh, and announced in public at the Ba Đình flower garden (now the Ba Đình Square) on September 2, 1945. It led to the independence of Vietnam.
Vietnam became a colony of France in the late 19th century, but during World War II, Japan occupied Vietnam. During this period the Viet Minh fought a guerrilla war against the Japanese and were to a degree supported by the Americans in 1945 via the Office of Strategic Services.
On August 22, 1945 the OSS agent Archimedes Patti, who had previously met Ho Chi Minh in Southern China arrived in Hanoi on a mercy mission to liberate allied POWs and were accompanied by Jean Sainteny a French government official. The Japanese forces informally surrendered (the official surrender took place on Sept. 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay) but being the only force capable of maintaining law and order the Japanese Imperial Army remained in power while keeping French colonial troops detained.
Japanese forces allowed the Việt Minh and other nationalist groups to take over public buildings and weapons without resistance, which began the August Revolution. On the morning of August 26, 1945, at No. 48 Hàng Ngang, Hà Nội, chairman Hồ Chí Minh had called and presided over the meeting of the Central Standing Communist Party of Vietnam. In the decisions made at this meeting, the Standing unanimously prepared to proclaim independence and organized a large meeting in Hà Nội for the Provisional Government to present itself to the people, also the day that Vietnam officially promulgated the right of freedom and established the democratic republic system.
On August 30, 1945, Hồ Chí Minh invited several people to contribute their ideas toward his Proclamation of Independence. OSS officers met repeatedly with Ho Chi Minh and other Viet Minh officers during late August and Archimedes Patti claims to have listened to Ho read to him a draft of the Proclamation which he believed sounded very similar to the American Declaration of Independence.
On September 2, 1945, Hồ Chí Minh read the Proclamation during a public meeting in front of thousands of people, at what is now Ba Đình Square, Hà Nội, announcing the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the country's independence from France.
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|“||Compatriots of the entire nation assembled:
All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
- Interview with Carleton Swift, 1981, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/vietnam-9dc948-interview-with-carleton-swift
- Stuart-Fox, Martin. A History of Laos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, http://www.taiwandocuments.org/japansurrender.htm
- Interview with Archimedes L. A. Patti, 1981, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/vietnam-bf3262-interview-with-archimedes-l-a-patti-1981
- Recording of original proclamation (Vietnamese) and full text (English) – Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam