Around The World
Travel through our timeline of major events in Vietnam's history.
3000-1000 B.C.Roaming tribes from southern China move into an area called the Red River Delta, where many Indonesian people are already living. Together, they form the earliest ancestors of today's Vietnamese people.
207 B.C.A Chinese general establishes the independent kingdom of Nam-Viet. It is made up of what is today northern Vietnam and parts of southern China.
111 B.C.The rulers of China's Han dynasty conquer Nam-Viet and make it part of the Chinese empire. China rules over the Vietnamese for more than 1,000 years afterward. While they are heavily influenced by Chinese arts, religions, politics and farming, the Vietnamese work hard to preserve their unique national identity.
939After more than 1,000 years in power, China withdraws from what is now northern Vietnam, then known as Annam. It becomes an independent kingdom.
1649French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes creates the first dictionary for quoc-ngu, a script of Vietnamese still used today. The script helped increase literacy rates and spread Christianity.
1802Prince Nguyen Anh unites the northern, central and southern regions of his country and calls it Vietnam. The prince and the emperors who follow establish programs to build new bridges and castles and restore old structures.
1847Angered by Vietnam's positions against business deals and Catholic missionaries, the French launch their first major attack. They fire upon the Vietnamese at the port of Danang, a city in central Vietnam.
1883France takes control of Vietnam. In 1887, it becomes a French colony. The French take charge of Vietnam's farmlands, minerals and other natural resources. They also introduce the Vietnamese to European schooling and customs.
1940Japan takes over Vietnam during World War II after its ally Germany defeats the French. Japan and Germany are later defeated.
ALBIN GUILLOT—GETTY IMAGES
1941:Ho Chi Minh, a leader of a form of government called Communism, organizes groups to fight for Vietnam's independence. In a Communist government, a country’s wealth and resources are shared by all citizens, and the government owns and controls all property.
1946France tries to regain control of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese Communist, leads an independence movement, called the Vietminh, against the French. Communism is a form of government where a country's resources are shared and the government controls all property; many freedoms are restricted.
1954The Vietminh defeats the French. Vietnam is divided into two zones: the Communist-ruled north and a republic in the south. Ho Chi Minh is President of North Vietnam until 1969.
1959Communists supported by North Vietnam cause conflict in South Vietnam. This conflict between the two halves of Vietnam marks the beginning of the Vietnam War.
1965Trying to stop the spread of Communism, the United States sends combat troops to Vietnam. About 60,000 American soldiers and many more Vietnamese soldiers die in the years to follow. This loss of lives sparks anti-war protests all over America.
1973In response to anti-war feelings, the U.S. signs a peace accord with North Vietnam. American troops leave Vietnam.
1975South Vietnam surrenders to Communist North Vietnam. North and South Vietnam are united in 1976 under Communist leadership.
1982The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. It is a wall of polished black granite engraved with the names of all the soldiers who died in the Vietnam War or are missing.
1993The U.S. and Vietnam successfully work together to recover the remains of American soldiers missing since the war.
1995The U.S. and Vietnam restore diplomatic ties.
2007Thirteen years after the U.S. lifts its 19-year ban on trading with Vietnam, the country joins the World Trade Organization as its 150th member.
2008–2010The government places tighter sanctions on the media. Many journalists are jailed for printing pro-democracy and antigovernment articles.
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