On this day May 8, 1963

In Huế, South Vietnam, soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam opened fire into a crowd of Buddhists protesting against a government ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesākha, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis.

Buddhism Flag

The incident spurred a protest movement by Buddhists against the religious discrimination perpetrated by the Roman Catholic-dominated Diệm regime, known as the Buddhist crisis, and widespread large-scale civil disobedience among the South Vietnamese.

On November 1, 1963, after six months of tension and growing opposition to the regime, generals from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam conducted a coup, which saw the removal and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm.

U.S. Ambassador Frederick Nolting, known for his policy of appeasement of Diem, attempted to spread the responsibility. He said that all parties were responsible, the demonstrators for (as he alleged) trying to take over the radio station, the government for deploying the army, which later opened fire, and “agitators” for throwing the explosives.

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