December 24

1919

According to a French intelligence report, Nguyen Ai Quoc frequently came to the Sainte-Genevière Library in Paris and read leftist newspapers including L’Humanité and Le Libertaire.

1926

In an article titled “Incidents in China,” which he wrote in China and then sent to Vietnam, Nguyen Ai Quoc continued reporting on political changes in China, a country with a historical relationship with Vietnam. 

President Ho Chi Minh with children at an art show in late May 1969 to celebrate International Children’s Day (File photo)

1945

President Ho Chi Minh and the leaders of different political parties signed an agreement in the spirit of “Independence first, solidarity first”. In the document, they announced they would “support the National Assembly, the resistance war, and the planned general election.” They also said they would “stop criticizing each other.”   

1946

In an open letter to the people during Christmas, the President said: “Nearly 20 centuries ago, a holy man was born. He devoted all his life to saving humankind from suffering and sacrificed for humankind’s freedom and equality.

"Nowadays, French colonialists are waging a war with a view to impose their rule on our nation again. Their acts have gone against Jesus’ spirit of philanthropy and self-sacrifice. Our entire people, religious or non-religious, should unite closely and be determined to fight the enemy to safeguard our Fatherland as well as to protect our right to religious freedom.

“On this occasion, on behalf of the Government, I respectfully send wishes to all Catholic people. I also pray to God for blessings to come upon our people and for helping our country achieve total victory. Long live God and the Fatherland!”

The same day, in letters to French prisoners of war in Vietnam, he said: “I hope that in the very near future, the Vietnamese and French peoples can cooperate in peace and friendship to build a common happiness. I know that you are not at fault in this war, and, like us, you are victims of reactionary colonialists who have waged an invading war out of their selfish individual interests. For the time being, we do not treat you as prisoners. You can set your mind at rest under our protection and you will be free when this war ends.”

1947

In a letter to Catholic people during Christmas, the President said: “Our people, religious or non-religious, should unite in the resistance war to claim independence for the Fatherland and freedom of religion. God blesses us and we will surely win the war.”  

1949

In a letter to the French people, the President said: “You are waiting for peace, and so are we. Thus, let us join our forces… French colonialists will lose the war and we will then cooperate with each other in peace and unanimity.”

1953
 
The President sent a message to Catholic people on Christmas, saying: “Evangelicalism says that the Christ was born to teach people to carry out good deeds like sacrificing for their Fatherland and people… We are in a resistance war to save our country; are stepping up production; carrying out land reforms to bring land to people; and applying a religious freedom policy. Thus, all things our Government and people have done are in accordance with the Evangelical spirit.”

By Duong Trung Quoc* and his assistants
*
The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Vinh Quang

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