2 September – On this day

Hours after Japan’s surrender in World War II, Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh declares the independence of Vietnam from France which held Indochina including Vietnam as a colony. The proclamation paraphrased the Declaration of Independence in declaring, “All men are born equal: the Creator has given us inviolable rights, life, liberty, and happiness!” and was cheered by an enormous crowd gathered in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square.

It would be 30 years, however, before Ho’s dream of a united, Vietnam became reality.