Saturday, June 10, 2017

Today in History

On June 10, 1963 U.S. correspondents were informed that "something important" would happen the following morning on the road outside the Cambodian embassy in Saigon. A Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức calmly sat down in the middle of a street in South Vietnam in front of the Cambodian Embassy, while a fellow monk poured gasoline over his head. A moment later, he was on fire.
He was protesting the systemic religious discrimination against Buddhists by the Roman Catholic regime of dictator Ngo Dinh Diem. Although Catholics were very much a minority in the country, they enjoyed majority status and privileges. Buddhists were not allowed to practice their religion in public, serve in the army, and were routinely discriminated against.
 John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Đức on fire, "No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one."


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