September 14


Nguyen Ai Quoc, nicknamed Ho Quang, staying in China for revolutionary activities, presented one of his friends, Phuong Si Tan, with a Chinese saying: “You zhi zhe shi jing cheng,” which literally means in English “Where there is a will there is a way.”

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


In a congratulatory message to mark the beginning of the first school year of the independent country of Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh wrote: “After eighty years under the yoke of slavery, our nation has been weakened, so we must now rebuild the careers left for us by our ancestors, so as to enable Vietnam to be well-matched with other countries around the world.

“That reconstruction relies on you students very much. Whether the country can become more beautiful and whether the Vietnamese people can reach
the pinnacle of success, to walk abreast with powerful countries largely depends on your endeavors in studying.”


President Ho Chi Minh continued his negotiations with the French Minister of the Colonies, Marius Moutet, to avoid a collapse of Vietnam - France relations after the Fontainebleau conference came to nothing.

The negotiations lasted from 5pm to 0:30am before the two sides entered into an agreement.

In an express telegraph sent home, he wrote: “The Preliminary Accord was signed with the French government on September 14. A copy of the document will be sent home by airmail. My affectionate greetings are sent to my comrade Huynh Thuc Khang, other officials of the Government and National Assembly, and people nationwide.”

The accord included provisional agreements that could be discussed in detail in “further negotiations that were expected to take place as soon as possible but by January 1947 at the latest.”

The accord was a diplomatic success for Vietnam, through which the country showed its good will for peace. On the other hand, it gave Vietnam more time for preparations for a possible war to safeguard the country.


Addressing the conference of the Alliance of the Vietnamese and Lao Peoples, the President said: “Vietnam shows its solidarity with neighboring counties. Laos and Cambodia do the same. Solidarity here is the one that is proved by their actions and in their common struggle, not by words.”

The President had the conference send a piece of silk, a suit and a sword as his gift to Laos’ President Souphanouvong.

He explained: “The piece of silk represents flexibility and unity. Close solidarity is just like the durable connection of the threads of the silk. Flexibility is for use in treating people. The sword stands for sharpness and determination, and the suit is intended for the most outstanding Lao official.”


At the conference on irrigation in the North held in Bac Ninh Province, the President said: “Irrigation must become a movement of the entire people. The task must run in every commune, district and province, all have a mutual relation in doing the task. So they should discuss it and give support to each other in getting the task done. They should not act for their own benefit while causing damage to others.“


The President met with General Nguyen Chi Thanh and Major General Le Trong Tan before they went to the South for military tasks. He advised: “Fighting the French is hard enough, but fighting the Americans is even harder. The Party and Government send you to the South battlefield with the hope that you will get together with Southern people in fighting the Americans to the final victory.

“Please repeat the message to every person you meet there that ‘Uncle Ho always thinks of people in the South.’”   

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

Translated by Truc Thinh

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