March 8

1926

From Guangzhou Province, China, Nguyen Ai Quoc, an alias of Ho Chi Minh, sent a letter to the Presidium of the Communist International saying that documents he asked for had not yet reached him. He also reported on past revolutionary activities and continued sending them reports on the Chinese farmers’ movement.

1946

President Ho Chi Minh had a meeting with the government to review the conflict between French and Chinese troops in the city of Hai Phong and to prepare for further negotiations in Paris, France.

He also convened 50 officers in charge of self-defense forces in Hanoi, asking them to continue propaganda to the public, to be on high alert against French conspiracies, to contain themselves but not to be feeble, and to be continuously active.

In his diplomatic notes to the French authorities in South Vietnam and Admiral D’Argenlieu, he expressed his hope that the Preliminary Accord between Vietnam and France would be strictly executed.

The President issued a “strict order” demanding the army and people give assistance to Chinese troops during their withdrawal from Vietnam.

President Ho Chi Minh on his visit to the March 8 Factory on International Women’s Day in 1965

1952

Marking International Women’s Day (March 8) that was for the first time celebrated in Vietnam, the President published the ‘Letter to women on the commemoration of Hai Ba Trung (the Trung Sisters*) and the International Women’s Day,’ in which he wrote: ‘The Trung Sisters have initiated a glorious tradition for Vietnamese women, that is, the spirit of brave resistance against invaders… Vietnamese women deserve to be the Trung Sisters’ offspring and part of the international womanhood.

‘Welcoming International Women’s Day, I bow in deep respect to the souls of heroines who have scarified for the Fatherland… I respectfully send my greetings to mothers whose children are soldiers and mothers and wives of martyrs… Owning to great efforts of our women, our country has become better and brighter.’

In his article, ’Equality between men and women,’ he wrote, ‘Many people misunderstand that such an equality is a quite an easy thing: the husband does the cooking, washing-up and cleaning for one day; and the wife does the same for the following day. It is a big mistake! It is actually a fairly great and hard revolution, since the thinking of valuing men above women is a habit rooted some thousands of years ago. The habit has been imprinted on the minds of everyone, every family and every walk of life…

‘Therefore, we cannot struggle against it using force… The force of our revolution is the progress in the fields of politics, economics, culture and law. We need to revolutionize each individual to each family to the entire people. As big and hard as this task is, we will certainly be successful in doing it.”

1965       

President Ho Chi Minh visited the March 8 Textile Factory for its inauguration. The factory – the largest and equipped with the most advanced equipment in northern Vietnam at that time – was built with contributions from women across the country.

In his article, ‘American White Paper,’ for the Nhan Dan (People) newspaper, he exposed the invasive nature of the U.S. and pointed out the unavoidable end of the Vietnam War.

He wrote, ‘The American Empire could choose only one of two ways: either they have to prepare themselves for a battle in Dien Bien Phu, or they must comply with the Geneva Agreement signed in 1954, that is to say, they must stop its invasive war… If the American Empire is wise to opt for the second way, the Vietnamese people will be ready to see them off happily and politely.’

*Trung Sisters: literally ‘the two Ladies Trung,’ who were Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, two Vietnamese leaders who in the first century successfully repelled Chinese invasions for three years, and are regarded as national heroines.

By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers
*The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Ngoc Lieu

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