Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese politician and revolutionary. He was born on May 19, 1890 in Hoang Tru.
At the time Vietnam and most of Indochina was a French colony. Ho Chi Minh settled in France when he was 27. [1917] He became a militant socialist, and on several occasions lobbied for Vietnamese independence. In 1920 he helped found the French Communist Party, and later lived in the two principle communist countries, the Soviet Union and China.

When he was 50, Ho Chi Minh moved back to Vietnam and created Vietminh, the Vietnamese Independence League. The Vietminh took advantage of the European powers’ involvement in World War Two. In 1945, Ho Chi Minh and guerilla leader Vo Nguyen Giap took the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnam independent. He had reached his life’s goal. At the end of World War Two, France reclaimed its Indochinese colonies. The French made territorial gains in Vietnam and imposed a treaty limiting the sovereignty of Ho Chi Minh's government. After a series of clashes, tensions between Vietnam and France erupted into the First Indochina War on December 19, 1946. Supported by the Soviet Union and China, Ho Chi Minh and Giap led Vietnam through a long guerilla war. On May 7, 1954, the French were defeated in the battle of Dien Bien Phu and withdrew from the country.

At the subsequent peace conference, Ho Chi Minh, under pressure from world leaders, accepted the division of Vietnam. The border was set at the 17th parallel. The communist north was his, while Ngo Dinh Diem ruled the pro-Western South. Seeking to reunite the country, Ho Chi Minh supported the actions of the Vietcong, communist guerrillas attacking South Vietnam. From 1959 on, sporadic clashes escalated into war. The Vietcong fought against a US-backed South Vietnam in the Second Indochina War, better known as the Vietnam War. In the summer of 1959, Ho Chi Minh's severely cut back his involvement in active politics but remained chief of state. A symbol for all Vietnamese separatists, he died in Hanoi on September 2, 1969. He was 79. The war ended on April 30, 1975. The Vietcong emerged victorious. Vietnam was reunified [July 2, 1976] and the new communist government renamed Saigon Ho Chi Minh City in his honor.

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