PEOPLE’S VICTORY 1975: ‘Liberation banners fly over Vietnam’
The May 1, 1975, issue of the Daily World covered the liberation and re-unification of Vietnam. | People's World Archives

This article is part of the People’s World 100th Anniversary Series.

On April 30, 1975, the war in Vietnam finally ended. Though U.S. imperialism had withdrawn its troops in defeat in 1973, Washington’s puppet regime in Saigon fought on for two more years.

The victory of the combined forces of the National Liberation Front based in South Vietnam and the People’s Army of Vietnam from the North was seen by the whole world when cameras broadcast images of NLF tanks bursting through the gates of the U.S. Embassy as helicopters evacuated the last American personnel and several collaborators from the roof.

The U.S.-backed dictator, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, had already been whisked from Saigon days earlier by the CIA, taken to Taiwan.

The articles below come from the May 1, 1975, issue of the Daily World, predecessor of People’s World.

The first article reports directly from the scene in Saigon, bringing details of the spontaneous celebrations in the streets as the country is fully liberated from foreign domination after decades of colonialism and oppression. The article was one of the first news reports in the world datelined “HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam,” appearing just hours after Saigon was renamed after the Vietnamese liberation leader.

The other two selections are editorials which appeared in the paper that day. In “Victory for mankind,” the editorial board, led by Carl Winter, offered an analysis of the political earthquake that Vietnam’s re-unification had triggered in world affairs. Though it was already apparent for years, the liberation of southern Vietnam proved how fragile U.S. imperialism was.

In “An end to U.S. aggression,” the editors tell the U.S. ruling class that it is time to face the fact that it could no longer expect to impose its will on the globe. They laud the U.S. peace movement and say the victory of Vietnam is also a victory for all the forces opposed to the “capitalist monopoly interests which profit from the sweat and labor of U.S. and foreign workers.” They call for a new foreign policy of peace and cooperation.

Today, almost 50 years after the victory in Vietnam, another people are fighting for their national liberation—in Palestine. Today, another U.S.-backed regime is oppressing and frustrating moves toward freedom. Then it was the South Vietnamese puppet administration, now it is Netanyahu’s extremist government in Israel. And today, there is once again a mass pro-peace uprising here at home in the United States demanding that our government stop its support for genocide abroad and that the resources being wasted to subsidize the profits of the weapons-makers be re-directed to meet people’s needs.

The demand today, expressed in the pages of this newspaper, is the same as it was in 1975: “Enough of the horrors of war!”


Liberation banners fly over Vietnam
Daily World Combined Services
May 1, 1975

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam—Laughing, cheering soldiers of South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front liberated the city of Saigon yesterday and re-named it “Ho Chi Minh City-the city Uncle Ho dreamed of.” The NLF troops waved to the smiling bystanders and shouted, “Hello, comrade!” in Vietnamese.

The red-and-blue flag with the gold star of the NLF and Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam was raised by the victorious South Vietnamese patriots over the Presidential Palace.

In Paris, a PRG/RSV spokesman said the liberation of the city was “an immense victory of historic importance.”

A U.S. military helicopter lifts diplomatic personnel and people connected to the South Vietnamese regime from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975.

The patriotic victory brought an end to at least 35 years of war in Vietnam, in which millions of Vietnamese died. The bright prospect of “peace as last” was something which uplifted the heartes of all the Vietnamese people, North and South. For the first time since the 1880s, Vietnam is free of foreign oppressors, their hirelings, and puppets.

When news reached Hanoi of the immense victory of the South Vietnamese patriots, several hundred thousand people rushed into the streets of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). They were cheering, crying, laughing, hugging, and kissing each other, according to a report by Tanjug, the Yugoslav news agency in Hanoi. Firecrackers and rockets were set off all over the city.

A broadcast from what had been “Radio Saigon” announced that from now on, South Vietnam’s biggest city will be called “Ho Chi Minh City.”

In a statement issued from New York on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party USA, Henry Winston and Gus Hall declared today:

“The last of the would-be conquerors has fled the field of battle. The last of the U.S. imperialist invaders have flown from the scene of their crimes. Victory has come to the freedom-loving people of Vietnam. Their land is theirs indeed.”

Winston and Hall continued, “This is also a victory for the majority of the American people who opposed a criminal, genocidal, brutal war waged by U.S. imperialism.”


Victory for mankind
Daily World Editorial
May 1, 1975

The world’s people are today rejoicing with those of Vietnam, more determined than ever to pursue an anti-imperialist, democratic course.

Saigon itself, renamed Ho Chi Minh City, “exploded with joy,” news reports relate; and masses welcomed the People’s Armed Forces of Liberation with smiles, cheers, and embraces.

Tanks of the National Liberation Front burst through the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975

The killing has ended—for good. Fear has fled with the departing U.S. nationals and their gangs of Vietnamese traitors who sold out their native land. Joy has come in place of the dreaded terror.

There is no tragedy, no defeat, no surrender, no “fall” of South Vietnam. Patriotic national liberation has swept the whole country; rule in the interests of the people is assured.

We in the United States can share in the rejoicing. We suffered no “loss” in the liberation of South Vietnam; indeed, the victory of the liberation forces is a boon to us and the democracy we cherish.

From us, too, a great and dreadful burden has been lifted. The setback to U.S. imperialism in Vietnam is also a setback to its racist, genocidal, and chauvinist policies which are our national shame and obstacles to our national progress. These, too, must and can be overcome.

Victory! It belongs not only to the justly proud Vietnamese people, but to all humankind oppressed and exploited by U.S. imperialism.

This victory confirms that imperialism is no longer the decisive force on a global scale. That role belongs to a new relationship of forces determined by the socialist countries, the world working class, and the national liberation movements.

This victory gives new inspiration and strength to all oppressed people of the world, telling them that they, too, can win independence, sovereignty, democracy, and peace in which to advance the interests of their people, unfettered by imperialism’s super-exploitation and oppression.


An end to U.S. aggression
Daily World Editorial
May 1, 1975

A cartoon from the May 1, 1975, issue of Daily World. | Andrews / People’s World Archives

Realism demands that the United States’ ruling class face the facts. It lost the Vietnam War; it cannot win such wars in this new period of history. It did not lose because of lack of strength or effort. The fearful sacrifices imposed on the U.S. people—more than 300,000 casualties, 56,000 dead, $150 billion wasted—in addition to the incalculable fearfulness imposed on the Vietnamese people, all show the desperate lengths to which the imperialists went.

The U.S. peace movement, backed by the overwhelming majority of the U.S. people, finally was able to force the Nixon administration to withdraw all direct and open military participation and to sign the Paris Peace Accord. This was one of the great contributions to the peace and security of the United States that the peace movement made.

The capitalist monopoly interests which profit from the sweat and labor of U.S. and foreign workers and farmers have been seriously wounded by the victory of the national liberation forces in Vietnam, but they are still dangerous.

We must say we have had enough of the horrors of war! End all U.S. imperialist aggression! We want a people’s foreign policy of détente, observance of the sovereignty and independence of all countries, and relations based on mutual benefit.


People’s World
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People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.