February 21

1921:

While Nguyen Ai Quoc, an alias of Ho Chi Minh, was being treated in Cochin Hospital, he received news about the death of the great Vietnamese patriot Phan Chau Trinh’s son. Nguyen Ai Quoc sent his condolences to Trinh’s family.

The file photo shows Uncle Ho watering the milk apple tree which was a souvenir from people in the South.

1931:

Nguyen Ai Quoc wrote a letter to the Eastern Session of Communist International, informing that young Vietnamese patriot Ly Tu Trong had been arrested after shooting dead French secret agent Legrand in Saigon, Trong was given the death sentence.

Nguyen Ai Quoc appealed to the French Communist Party to hold demonstrations calling for Ly Tu Trong’s freedom. Nguyen Ai Quoc also requested the Communist International and Red International of Labor Unions to raise their voice to express consolidation with the Indochinese peoples’ fight.

1946:

President Ho Chi Minh presided over a government meeting for the establishment of a joint government. The government was scheduled to include 10 ministries held by four parties. The Ministers of Defense and Internal Affairs were to be held by two non-partisan members.

On the same day, the President signed a decree to merge the police department and security services into the Vietnam Public Security Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

1947:

President Ho Chi Minh visited the landlord Do Dinh Thien’s Chine Farm where the Vietnamese government had built a mint. Suddenly, enemy planes bombed the farm and the President had to run to a bomb shelter.

In his diary, Minister Le Van Hien wrote, ‘On February 21, 1947, Uncle Ho came back to Chine Farm at 3pm after the visit to Thanh Hoa province. He visited the mint and criticized the dirty working conditions. Talking with workers, the president encouraged them to fight against the French. He also visited villages of the ethnic group of Muong, entered every house and had a friendly chat with villagers. Children were very excited to follow after the President. He talked with children and praised ones who were able to read and write and asked ones who were not literate to study immediately. He assigned the young the task to teach children in the villages and everyone must be able to read and write when he would come back.”

On the same day, the President sent a letter to ethnic groups in Thanh Hoa province. In the letter he wrote, ‘I rely on patriotism and fervency of patriarchs in villages to look after the mountain people.’

1958:

President Ho Chi Minh chaired a conference of the Poliburo to approve the plan to build a strong army and strengthen national defense.

In his diary, General Van Tien Dung wrote, ‘Uncle Ho told the air force to study a plan for a people’s air defense. This was a new issue and the president thought of it very early.’

This event showed the President’s providence as six years later the US army bombed North Vietnam.

At the end of 1962, the President ordered Air Defense Session of Air Forces to study American B-52 bombers. Three years later the US army used B-52 bombers in air attacks in the South and then bombed the North.

Thanks to the President’s foresight, the Vietnam People’s Army defeated the US.

By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers

*The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Hai Dang

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