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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

News Advisory

News Contact: Tom Koch, UTD, (972) 883-4951, [email protected]
50th Anniversary of the Fall of Dien Bien Phu
Noted by UTD’s Special Collections Department



Many in the public have never heard of Dien Bien Phu, much less realize what significance the battle there in May of 1954 had on Vietnam, the United States and the world.

Dr. Erik D. Carlson, head of the McDermott Library’s Special Collections Department at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), will present a lecture titled “Civil Air Transport & the Fall of Dien Bien Phu” from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 7, in the McDermott Library Auditorium (MC 2.410). The presentation is free and open to the public. Special Collections is home to the Civil Air Transport/Air America archive and memorial.

Forces under General Vo Nguyen Giap challenged the French for control of northern French Indochina that year. When the Viet Minh laid siege to Dien Bien Phu in May, two Americans – James “Earthquake” McGovern and Wallace Buford – were killed when their CAT supply plane was shot down.

After the fall of Dien Bien Phu to the Viet Minh, the French evacuated the city and concentrated their forces near Saigon. By 1956, the French were out of Vietnam. With Vietnam divided into the communist north and the non-communist south, the U.S. later became militarily involved in the country on a large scale.

A reception will be held in the Special Collections section of the library after the presentation.

For additional information, please contact Tom Koch at 972-883-4951.


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This page last updated: April 27, 2004