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

Conference Agenda

Thursday, October 23, 2003
a.m./p.m.   Conference participants travel to Lubbock
12:00 p.m   (Until 4:30 p.m.) Registration Desk Open at Holiday Inn Park Plaza
3:45 p.m.   Bus departs Holiday Inn for the Vietnam Archive tour (Southwest Collections Building, 15th Street adjacent to the Library, Texas Tech University)
4:00 p.m.   Vietnam Archive tour begins
4:45 p.m.   Bus departs for Holiday Inn
5:50 p.m.   Bus departs Holiday Inn for a reception and Mr. and Mrs. Phil Price's home (4015 93rd Street)
6:00 p.m.   Reception
8:00 p.m.   Bus departs for Holiday Inn
Friday, October 24, 2003
8:00 a.m.  

(until 5:00 p.m.) Registration Desk, Room 105, International Cultural Center (ICC)

8:00 a.m.   Bus departs Holiday Inn for ICC
8:15 a.m.   Coffee, Doughnuts available at ICC
8:30 a.m.   Bus departs Holiday Inn for ICC
8:45 a.m.   Welcoming remarks by Texas Tech President
9:00 a.m.  

Session 1: "Diem's Surprising Savior in the 1950s: Mike Mansfield, a Famous Dove" Don Oberdorfer, Author-in-Residence, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC

9:45 a.m.   Coffee Break
10:00 a.m.  

Session 2: Communist Reaction to the Coup
Moderator: Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Phong


"Communist Operations after the Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem." General Nguyen Khanh, former Prime Minister and Head of State


"The View from Hanoi," PAVN Colonel Bui Tin, 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

Noon   Lunch Luncheon speaker: TBA
1:30 p.m.  

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." Mr. Ed Miller, Doctoral Candidate, Harvard University


"The Buddhists and the Disintegration of South Vietnam in the post-Diem Era." Dr. Mark Moyar, George Bush School of Govt. and Public Service, Texas A&M University.

2:45 p.m.   Coffee Break
3:00 p.m.  

Session 4: "Late President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam as Seen by  Members of the Family and by Some of His Friends."   Dr. Andre Nguyen Van Chau.

3:45 p.m.  

Session 5: Status Report on the Virtual Vietnam Archive.
Mr. Steve Maxner, Assoc. Dir. (Archives), the Vietnam Center

4:30 p.m.   Bus departs for Holiday Inn
5:45 p.m.   Bus departs from Holiday Inn for ICC
6:00 p.m.   Reception at the International Cultural Center. Cash bar.
6:15 p.m.   Bus departs from Holiday Inn for ICC
7:00 p.m.   Conference banquet
8:00 p.m.  

Keynote address: (Scheduled/withdrawn: Major General Alexander "Bud" Bolling, USA (Ret) MG Bolling commanded the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam in 1968)

Banquet Keynote Address Provided by Dr. Larry Berman, Director, UC Washington Center

9:00 p.m.   Approx. Bus returned to Holiday Inn.
Saturday, 25 October 2003
8:00 a.m.   Registration Desk Open, Room 105, ICC
8:15 a.m.   Bus departs Holiday Inn for ICC
8:30 a.m.   Coffee, doughnuts available at ICC
8:45 a.m.   Bus departs Holiday Inn for ICC
8:45 a.m.  

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." Martina 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." Mr. Matt Masur, Doctoral Candidate, Ohio State University.

10:15 a.m.   Coffee break
10:30 a.m.  

Session 7: Relations with Americans
Moderator: Dr. Richard Verrone, The Vietnam Center


"The End of a Friendship: Wesley R. Fishel and Ngo Dinh Diem, 1958-1963." Dr. Joseph Morgan, Ph.D., 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." Mr. Geoff Stewart, Doctoral Candidate, University of Western Ontario, Canada


Lunch. Luncheon Speaker: Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Phong, Senior Research Associate, The Vietnam Center, "1963, 1973, 2003: The Options?" [Introduced by Dr. Charles Neu, Professor Emeritus, Brown University]

1:30 p.m.   

Session 8:
Moderator: Dr. Charles Neu, Professor Emeritus,
Brown University

    “Our Failed Coup D'etat against President Ngo Dinh Diwm on November 11, 1960.” Colonels Vuong Van Dong and Nguyen Huy Loi [both officers participated in the coup with Maj. Gen. Nguyen Chanh Thi]. Paper read by Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Phong.

"The Rise and Fall of President Ngo Dinh Diem." Mr. Hieu Dinh Vu, Independent Scholar.


"Diem versus American Superiority." Mr. Daniel Tu, Undergraduate Student, University of Tulsa.

2:45 p.m.   Coffee break
3:00 p.m.   Session 9:
Moderator:   Dr. David Snead, Texas Tech Univ.

"Diem, Laos and the Coup of November 2nd, 1962." Dr. Geoffrey 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

4:30 p.m.   Bus departs for Holiday Inn
5:45 p.m.  

Bus departs Holiday Inn for Ranching Heritage Center.
Please wear casual attire

6:00 p.m.   West Texas Barbecue Dinner, with music by Alton Rex
8:00 p.m.   (Approx) Bus departs for Holiday Inn
8:15 p.m.   (Until ???) Fellowship at hotel bar