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1963

Buddhist immolates himself in protest

Buddhist monk Quang Duc publicly burns himself to death in a plea for President Ngo Dinh Diem to show “charity and compassion” to all religions. Diem, a Catholic who had been oppressing the Buddhist majority, remained stubborn despite continued Buddhist protests and repeated U.S. requests to liberalize his government’s policies. More Buddhist monks immolated themselves during ensuing weeks. Madame Nhu, the president’s sister-in-law, referred to the burnings as “barbecues” and offered to supply matches. In November 1963, South Vietnamese military officers assassinated Diem and his brother during a coup.

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