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Street Signs - Ton Duc Thang

In our last addition of “Street Signs,” we took a look at Nguyen Thi Minh Khia. Today, we’ll tackle the name of one of Saigon’s oldest streets, Ton Duc Thang.

Ton Duc Thang was born in 1888 in An Giang Province. During his formative years, he received tutoring in Chinese script, history and philosophy from an ardent, anti-colonialist tutor.

In 1919, he found himself in the French Navy where he, along with a few other sailors, plotted to turn over their vessel to Bolshevik forces in the Black Sea (according to Thang). From the 1920s to 1945, Thanh was active in a number of revolutionary groups within Vietnam and joined Ho Chi Minh.

By 1947, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. After leading a number of pro-government groups during the First Indochina War, he became Vice-President of North Vietnam. Following Ho Chi Minh’s death in 1969, Thang became the last President of North Vietnam and, after Communist victory in the American War, the first president of a unified Vietnam.

Thang led the country through the tumultuous post-war years, marked by the deposition of the Khmer Rouge and repelling a Chinese invasion in the Sino-Vietnamese War.

Thang passed away in Hanoi on March 30, 1980 at the age of 91, making him the oldest serving president of any country in the world.

As always, if you have any additional information to add, let us know in the comments below. 

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