The Rise and Fall of Ngo Dinh Diem: Its Implications for the United States and Vietnam

23 October - 25 October 2003

Texas Tech University International Cultural Center - Lubbock, Texas

The views and opinions expressed in these papers, presentations, and videos are strictly those of the presenters and authors and do not represent the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, or the State of Texas.

Friday, October 24th

Part 1

Part 2
8:45 am. Opening Remarks

  •   Dr. James Reckner, Director, the Vietnam Center, Texas Tech University  
  •   Ambassador Tibor P. Ngay  

9:00 am. Session Session 1: Diem's Suprising Savior in the 1950s: Mike Mansfield, a Famous Dove

Presented by: Don Oberdorfer, Author-in-Residence, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC

    Part 1

    Part 2
    10:00 am. Session Session 2: Communist Reaction to the Coup

    Moderator: Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Phong, Texas Tech University

    • "Communist Operations after the Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem." General Nguyen Khanh, former Prime Minister and Head of State  
    • "The View from Hanoi." Bui Tin, PAVN Colonel and author of 'Following Ho Chi Minh' (1995) and 'From Enemies to Friends' (2002)  
    • "Communist Strategic Debates on the Struggle in the South and US-Diem Relations." Dr. Laura Calkins, Independent Scholar  

    12:00 pm. Lunch

    •   Congressman Randy Neugebauer  
    •   Col. Herb Schandler  

    1:30 pm. Session Session 3: The Buddhist Movement

    Moderator: Dr, David Anderson, University of Indianapolis

    • "Piety, power and the revolt of the bonzes: the religious politics of the 1963 Buddhist Crisis in South Vietnam." Ed Miller, Doctoral Candidate, Harvard University  
    • "The Buddhists and the Disintegration of South Vietnam in the post-Diem Era." Dr. Mark Moyer, George Bush School of Govt. and Public Service, Texas A&M University  

    3:00 pm. Session Session 4: Late President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam as Seen by Members of the Family and by Some of His Friends

    Presented By: Dr. Andre Nguyen Van Chau

      3:45 pm. Session Session 5: Status Report on the Virtual Vietnam Archive

      Presented by: Steven Maxner, Associate Director (Archives), The Vietnam Center

        8:00 pm. Banquet

        •   Major General Alexander "Bud" Bolling, USA (ret)  

        Saturday, October 25th

        Part 1

        Part 2
        8:45 am. Session Session 6: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Media

        Moderator: Dr. Ed Youngblood, Texas Tech University

        • "The Dragon Lady: Representations of Madam Ngo Dinh Nhu in the American Press, 1955-1963." Martinia T. Nguyen, Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Berkeley  
        • "Diem, Reform, and the New York Times Editorial Page, 1961-63: An Early Example of an Oppositional Press." Dr. Louis J. Campomenosi, Assistant Dean, University College of Tulane and Adjunct Prof. of Political Science, Tulane University  
        • "The Other Hearts and Minds: RVN Cultural Campaigns in the United States, 1954-1963." Matt Masur, Doctoral Candidate, Ohio State University  

        10:30 am. Session Session 7: Relations with Americans

        Moderator: Dr. Richard Verrone, The Vietnam Center, Texas Tech University

        • "The End of a Friendship: Wesley R. Fishel and Ngo Dinh Diem, 1958-1963." Dr. Joseph Morgan, Iona University  
        • "Kenneth T. Young, Ngo Dinh Diem, and America's Commitment to the Defense of South Vietnam." Stephen B. Young, Independent Scholar  
        • "David Halberstam, Roger Hilsman and the August 24 Cable." Geoff Stewart, Doctoral Candidate, University of Western Ontario, Canada  

        12:00 pm. Lunch

        Introduced by: Dr. Charles Neu, Professor Emeritus, Brown University

        • "1963, 1973, 2003: The Options?." Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Phong, Senior Research Associate, The Vietnam Center  

        1:30 pm. Session Session 8

        Moderator: Dr. Charles Neu, Professor Emeritus, Brown University

        • "Our Failed Coup D'etat against President Ngo Dinh Diwm on November 11, 1960 (Paper Read by Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Phong)." Cols. Vuong Van Dong and Nguyen Huy Loi, both officers participated in the coup with Maj. Gen. Nguyen Chanh Thi  
        • "The Rise and Fall of Ngo Dinh Diem." Hieu Dinh Vu, Independent Scholar  
        • "Diem versus American Superiority." Daniel Tu, Undergraduate Student, the University of Tulsa  

        3:00 pm. Session Session 9

        Moderator: Dr. David Snead, Texas Tech University

        • "Diem, Laos and the Coup of November 2nd, 1962." Dr. Geoffery D. T. Shaw, Independent Scholar  
        • "The Strategic Hamlet Program: Before and After Diem." Dr. Neil Olson  
        • "'Yeah, but do they understand it?: Counterinsurgency in South Vietnam during the presidency of John F. Kennedy." Captain Matthew Lerner, USMC, 2nd Marine Division