02
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-2-2008: Coup in South Vietnam

November 2, 1963

Ngo Dinh Diem assassinated in South Vietnam

Following the overthrow of his government by South Vietnamese military forces the day before, President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother are captured and killed by a group of soldiers. The death of Diem caused celebration among many people in South Vietnam, but also lead to political chaos in the nation. The United States subsequently became more heavily involved in Vietnam as it tried to stabilize the South Vietnamese government and beat back the communist rebels that were becoming an increasingly powerful threat.

While the United States publicly disclaimed any knowledge of or participation in the planning of the coup that overthrew Diem, it was later revealed that American officials met with the generals who organized the plot and gave them encouragement to go through with their plans. Quite simply, Diem was perceived as an impediment to the accomplishment of U.S. goals in Southeast Asia. His increasingly dictatorial rule only succeeded in alienating most of the South Vietnamese people, and his brutal repression of protests led by Buddhist monks during the summer of 1963 convinced many American officials that the time had come for Diem to go.

Three weeks later, an assassin shot President Kennedy. By then, the United States was more heavily involved in the South Vietnamese quagmire than ever. Its participation in the overthrow of the Diem regime signaled a growing impatience with South Vietnamese management of the war. From this point on, the United States moved step by step to become more directly and heavily involved in the fight against the communist rebels.

“Ngo Dinh Diem assassinated in South Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 2 Nov 2008, 01:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2472.

On This Day

1721 – Peter the Great (Peter I), ruler of Russia, changed his title to emperor.

1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, William Demont, became the first traitor of the American Revolution when he deserted.

1783 – U.S. Gen. George Washington gave his “Farewell Address to the Army” near Princeton, NJ. http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/revolution/farewell/index.html

1889 – North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted into the union as the 39th and 40th states.

1947 – Howard Hughes flew his “Spruce Goose,” a huge wooden airplane, for eight minutes in California. It was the plane’s first and only flight. The “Spruce Goose,” nicknamed because of the white-gray color of the spruce used to build it, never went into production.

1948 – Harry S. Truman defeated Thomas E. Dewey for the U.S. presidency. The Chicago Tribune published an early edition that had the headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.” The Truman victory surprised many polls and newspapers.

1962 – U.S. President Kennedy announced that the U.S.S.R. was dismantling the missile sites in Cuba.

1989 – Carmen Fasanella retired after 68 years and 243 days of taxicab service in Princeton, NJ.

November 2, 1917

Britain supports creation of Jewish homeland

British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour submits a declaration of intent to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The British government hoped that the formal declaration would help garner Jewish support for the Allied effort in World War I. The Balfour Declaration was included in the British mandate over Palestine, which was approved by the League of Nations in 1922. Arabs opposed the Balfour Declaration, fearing that the creation of a Jewish homeland would mean the subjugation of Arab Palestinians.

After World War I, the Jewish population in Palestine increased dramatically, as did Jewish-Arab violence. Arab resistance and failures to reach a compromise led Britain to delay deciding on the future of Palestine. In the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust, much of the international community took up the Zionist cause, and in 1948 the State of Israel was declared.

“Britain supports creation of Jewish homeland.” 2008. The History Channel website. 2 Nov 2008, 01:28 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5487.

In Wisconsin

1954 – Wisconsin Voters Oppose Public Television
On this date Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly opposed the idea of a state-supported public educational TV station. The final vote was 662,044 to 295,329. [Source: Janesville Gazette 11/3/1954, p. 1]

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