Sangeetha Pulapaka
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Hours after Japan’s surrender in World War II, Vietnamese communist Ho Chi Minh declares the independence of Vietnam from France. The proclamation paraphrased the U.S. Declaration of Independance in declaring, “All men are born equal: the Creator has given us inviolable rights, life, liberty, and happiness!” and was cheered by an enormous crowd gathered in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square. It would be 30 years, however, before Ho’s dream of a united, communist Vietnam became reality.

Born in 1890, Ho Chi Minh left Vietnam as a cook on a French steamer in 1911. After several years as a seaman, he lived in London and then moved to France, where he became a founding member of the French Communist Party in 1920. He later traveled to the Soviet UnIon, where he studied revolutionary tactics and took an active role in the Communist International. In 1924, he went to China, where he set about organizing exiled Vietnamese communists. Expelled by China in 1927, he traveled extensively before returning to Vietnam in 1941.

There, he organized a Vietnamese guerrilla organization–the Viet Minh–to fight for Vietnamese independence. Japan occupied French Indochina in 1940 and collaborated with French officials loyal to France’s Vichy regime. Ho, meanwhile, made contact with the Allies and aided operations against the Japanese in South China. In early 1945, Japan ousted the French administration in Vietnam and executed numerous French officials.

When Japan formally surrendered to the Allies on September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh felt emboldened enough to proclaim the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. French forces seized southern Vietnam and opened talks with the Vietnamese communists. These talks collapsed in 1946, and French warships bombarded the northern Vietnamese city of Haiphong, killing thousands.



https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/vietnam-independence-proclaimed