Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nguyen Van Thieu
Nguyen Van Thieu (Nguyễn Văn Thiệu,Chu Nom: 阮文紹), (April 5, 1923 - September 29, 2001) was a president of the Republic of Vietnam. The son of a small landowner, he was educated at the National Military Academy in Hue. He briefly joined the Communist forces before abandoning them and serving in the French-controlled Vietnamese army.
He was then assigned as commanders of the Vietnam Military Academy, the 1st Infantry Division, the 5th Infantry Division, and after participation in the Nov. 1, 1963, coup overthrowing the President Ngo Dinh Diem, he was promoted to brigadier general.
The following two years, he was appointed commander of the Army Corps IV, Chief of the General Staff, then was promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed Minister of Defense.
On June 19, 1965, he was voted by the military leaders to head the Military Revolutionary Council, and became Chairman of the National Leadership Committee, or chief of state.
He served as South Vietnam's ceremonial head of state in Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky's government from 1965 - 67. In September 3, 1967, he ran successfully for the new executive presidency of South Vietnam earning 38% of the vote and held that position until the Fall of Saigon, South Vietnam's capital, became imminent in 1975.
Thieu's regime was accused of being far more corrupt than his predecessor. Unlike Ky, Thieu created a political party and greatly centralized political power in the executive branch at the expense of the elected congress. Close allies were placed in key ministerial and military posts in order to prevent threats to the president's leadership from emerging.
In 1971, Thieu ran for re-election, but his reputation for corruption made his political opponents believe the race would be fixed, and declined to run. As the only candidate Thieu was thus easily re-elected.
Just prior to the Communist victory, he resigned and his Vice President Tran Van Huong took over on April 21, 1975, nine days before South Vietnam unconditionally surrendered to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975.
- "Don't listen to what the Communists say, but look into what they are doing."
- "But the United States did not keep its word. Is an American's word reliable these days?"
- "The United States did not keep its promise to help us fight for freedom and it was in the same fight that the United States lost 50,000 of its young men."
- "Losing a President Thieu, the military still has a three-star General Thieu. The people still have a soldier, Nguyen Van Thieu. I pledge to fight side by side with my brothers, the soldiers."
- "You ran away and left us to do the job that you could not do."
Notable ARVN Generals
- Nguyen Cao Ky
- Duong Van Minh
- Tran Van Minh
- Nguyen Khanh
- Ngo Quang Truong
- Nguyen Van Hieu
- Nguyen Ngoc Loan
- Nguyen Viet Thanh
- Tran Van Huong
- Nguyen Khoa Nam
- Tran Van Huong
- Lam Thi Quang
- Vietnam's President Thieu resigns
- President Thieu and Commandos of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Reunion Photos
- Funeral of President Nguyen Van Thieu Photos
- Obituary of President Nguyen Van Thieu from BBC
- Obituary of President Nguyen Van Thieu from Associated Press
- Thieu Biography From Spartacus Educational
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