November 19


Nguyen Ai Quoc attended a meeting of a cell of the Socialist Party of France in Paris.

French spies continued to keep tabs on his political activities.


While in jail in Wuming, China, Ho Chi Minh composed many poems, including “Truc lo phu” (Road coolies) describing the sufferings of people sentenced to penal servitude. The poem was later translated into Vietnamese by Nam Tran.

President Ho Chi Minh with young people on the day of polling for the second National Assembly in 1960 (File photo)

It reads:

Exposed to rain and wind relentlessly
Road coolies have to work strenuously
Among people traveling on the road
Is there anyone who shows them pity?

President Ho Chi Minh reached an agreement with leaders of some other political parties for their support in fighting the colonialists and supporting Southern people.


Attending a Politburo meeting to discuss acceptance of foreign aid, the President told Prime Minister Pham Van Dong: “Especially from China, we should only seek articles of daily need and those that serve our economic recovery. We must be self-sufficient when it comes to non-essential items…”
In “Relationship between the people and army” in Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper, the President wrote: “Our army is the people’s army, our people love our soldiers very much… The people want to see soldiers not only as brave combatants but also as well-behaved persons… I hope all cadres and soldiers treat the public well so we can prove to the world that Uncle Ho’s troops can make a difference.”


In “On the 50th death anniversary of great Russian writer L. N. Tolstoy” published in Soviet Literature newspaper, the President told readers about how he became a disciple of the writer.

“After World War II, I worked as a camera repairman in Paris. I worked in the factory in the day and spent my evenings at Party meetings or workers’ get-togethers. By the end of every day, I would read a few pages from a novel to improve my French as well as to relax.

“One day, a colleague of mine gave me a small novel by Tolstoy. I liked it very much since it was simply and clearly written and was easy to understand. Inspired and excited by the novel, despite the winter chill and having no heater in my small room, I jumped out of my bed thinking that writing a short story is not so hard that I cannot do it.

“Every morning, I would write from 5 to 6:30 am and go to work at 7 am. The chill often made my fingers numb with cold. After a week of writing, I completed my first story. Do you know how happy I was when I found my work, my loved work, was published in a local newspaper?

“Do you agree with me that at that time I had the right to say I had become a disciple of the great writer Tolstoy?”


Nhan Dan published the President’s article titled “Message to Bertrand Russell,” who was a British philosopher and organizer of an international court that denounced the US’ war crimes in Vietnam.

The article read: “That denunciation is of international significance in protecting justice and the self-determination of every nation. The court will help the world be aware of the nature of American imperialists… The Vietnamese people deeply appreciate and wholeheartedly support your valuable initiative.” 

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

Translated by Quang Thinh

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