In Ba Đình Square on 2 September 1945, President Hồ Chí Minh read out his historical, freshly penned Declaration of Independence for the Democratic Republic of Việt Nam. Virtually the entire population of Hà Nội was in attendance.
Ba Đình Square
According to historian Nguyễn Vinh Phúc, Hồ Chí Minh’s platform, covered in red cloth, was installed in the middle of the Square where half a million people had gathered to hear. Following a salute to the flag and Hồ Chí Minh’s speech came the swearing-in ceremony of the new Provisional Government. Then the newly appointed Minister of Internal Affairs Võ Nguyên Giáp – the future victorious general during the American-Việt Nam War – discussed the domestic situation and the new Government’s policies.
The Minister of Propagation, Trần Huy Liệu, then rose to his feet and described the handing over of the imperial symbols of power by representatives of the Nguyễn Dynasty to representatives of the new Government. The royal seal and the sword were shown to the people and the gathering ended with the jubilant crowd marching through the streets of Hà Nội.
The historical importance
Twenty-five years later, President Hồ Chí Minh died on Việt Nam’s national holiday, 2 September 1969. Seven days later on 9 September 1969, a solemn memorial service in his honor was held in Ba Đình Square.
The square has become a sacred place to Hanoians. In the center stands a flagpole and it is here that National Day celebrations with military parades take place.