February 24

1920:

Through the editor of L’ Humanité, Nguyen Ai Quoc (an alias of Ho Chi Minh during his revolutionary activities from 1920 to 1941) received a letter from King Duy Tan who had been exiled by the French colonialists to Reunion island in the Indian Ocean after planning a secret rebellion to overthrow them.

The file photo shows President Ho Chi Minh trying the rice seedling transplanting machine on a suburban field of Ha Noi on July 16, 1960.

1946:

President Ho Chi Minh held a meeting to consider ways to deal with a French – Chinese agreement and with political parties who wanted a share in the power.

1947:

President Ho Chi Minh wrote a letter to French Commissionaire J. Sainteny, calling for peace: “France only needs to recognize Vietnam’s independence and unification, and the war will end, trust will return, and we can start rebuilding the two countries.”

The letter was not sent to Mr. Sainteny because of undisclosed reasons and he bitterly acknowledged that the French lost the war because it failed to grasp the olive branch proffered by Ho Chi Minh.

1948:

The president wrote a letter praising all soldiers in the Second and Third Regions after coming to know that all of them could read and write. In the letter, he wrote: “This is a victory for our army. Illiteracy is also an enemy; illiteracy helps foreign invaders; illiteracy attacks our spirit just like foreign invaders attack us physically. Foreign invaders rely on the illiterate to entrench obscurantism. Elimination of illiteracy means demolishing a supporting force for invaders. An army that is both educated and valiant is a super powerful army.”

In February 1948 the President wrote to a conference of the Ministry of Justice: “You are in charge of executing and administering laws, so you must set an example by operating public services and ensure the law is obeyed.”
 
It was the 15th day of the Year of the Mouse and the President wrote the famous poem “Nguyen Tieu” in Mandarin which was translated into Vietnamese by Xuan Thuy:

Rằm xuân lồng lộng trăng soi
The moon is bright on the 15th night of spring

Sông xuân nước lẫn màu trời thêm xuân
Springtime rivers and springtime water enhance the beauty of the sky

Giữa dòng bàn bạc việc quân
Discussing national issues on the boat under the bright moon

Khuya về bát ngát trăng ngân đầy thuyền
The boat is full of moon at midnight

1959:

The President received a letter from workers of the 10th Garment Factory, which said: “We were moved at seeing your old clothes. So we decided to stitch two pairs of clothes for you. Although the garments are not beautiful they have been made with all our heart.” The President appreciated their contribution to rebuilding the country and agreed to accept one set of garments, deciding to give the other as a reward to the best worker in the factory.

By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers

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

Translated by Viet Trung

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