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 Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University, or the State of Texas.

Friday, October 24th

Part 1

Part 2

8:45 am Opening Remarks: Reception/Break/Other

  • Dr. James Reckner , Director, the Vietnam Center, Texas Tech University

  • Ambassador Tibor P. Ngay


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

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

Part 1

Part 2

10:00 am 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: Reception/Break/Other

  • Congressman Randy Neugebauer

  • Col. Herb Schandler


1:30 pm 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 4: Late President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam as Seen by Members of the Family and by Some of His Friends

Moderator: Dr. Andre Nguyen Van Chau

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

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


      8:00 pm Banquet: Reception/Break/Other

      • Dr. Larry Berman, Director, UC Washington Center

      Saturday, October 25th

      Part 1

      Part 2

      8:45 am 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 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: Reception/Break/Other

      Moderator: 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 8: Reception/Break/Other

      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 9: Reception/Break/Other

      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