PRESIDENT TON DUC THANG’S BIOGRAPHY
Comrade Ton Duc Thang was born on 20 August 1888 in a family of well-to-do peasant at Ong Ho Isle, My Hoa Hung Village, Dinh Thanh District, Long Xuyen Province (now My Hoa Hung Commune, Long Xuyen City, An Giang Province).
In 1906, after finishing elementary education at Long Xuyen primary school, Ton Duc Thang left his native place for Saigon, coming to the working class which was in the founding period. The indomitable tradition of the native country and the living of the working class soon trained the patriotic enthusiasm in the self of Ton Duc Thang. From this time, Ton Duc Thang fell in line with the struggling movement against the French colonialists.
In Saigon, Ton Duc Thang learned trades and was an apprentice at many places. In 1912, he organized the strike among students of Asia Mechanics School (also called Ba Nghe (Multi-Trade School) – now the Cao Thang Technical College), requesting the execution of the school rules, opposing students hitting. This movement was supported by Ba Son workers.
From 1915 to 1917, he learned mechanics at Multi-Trade School. Having not finished the course, he was mobilized to France to be a sapper to serve World War I. Ton Duc Thang worked on the France battleship, Arsenal workshop, Toulon military port.
In 1919, Ton Duc Thang was moved to a naval force. This unit was ordered to attack Sevastopol on the shore of the Black Sea, suppressing the newly-born Soviet Russia. Ton Duc Thang and his colleague sappers join the anti-war movement by hoisting the red flag onto the flag-pole of the battleship.
In 1920, after the mutiny, Ton Duc Thang was deported from France. Returning to Saigon, Ton Duc Thang maneuvered the persons having the same aim to found the secret union. Under the leadership of the Union in which comrade Ton Duc Thang was the Head, the movement of workers in Saigon – Cho Lon strongly developed, one of the examples was the strike of Ba Son workers in August 1925.
In 1926, Comrade Ton Duc Thang joined the Vietnamese Youth Revolution Association, the predecessor of the Party. In 1927, he was elected to the Municipal Executive Committee of Saigon - Cho Lon and the Southern Regional Headquarter.
At the end of 1929, he was seized by the French colonialists in the case of Barbie. The Court of French Colonialists sentenced him of 20 years of penal servitude, exiling him to Poulo Condor.
In 1945, the August Revolution succeeded. He came to the main land while the French colonialists returned to invade Vietnam. He immediately joined the new struggle of the Southerners and people from all over the country.
On the date of 06 January 1946, in the first general election, by the Saigon – Cho Lon people, he was elected the First National Assembly Representative of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
In 1947, he was appointed the General Inspector of the Government and Acting Minister of Interior.
In 1948, the Permanent Committee of Central Party gave instructions to launch the movement of patriotism competition. He was elected the Head of Central Patriotism Competition Launching Committee.
In 1950, he was appointed the Chairman of Vietnam – Soviet Friendship Society.
In 1951, he was elected member of Party Central Committee; appointed the Deputy Head of Public Relations Committee – Central Front.
In 1955, he was elected the Chairman of Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee. In July of that year, he was elected Honorary Chairman of Vietnam’s World Peace Protection Committee and member of World Peace at the World Peace Congress. On the date of 20 September, at the 4th session of First National Assembly, he was elected the Head of Standing Committee of the National Assembly.
In 1960, at the 1st session, Second National Assembly, he was elected the Vice President of Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
In 1969, after President Ho Chi Minh passed away, at the Special session of Third National Assembly, he was elected the President of Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
In 1976, at the 1st session of Sixth National Assembly – National Assembly of the unified Vietnam, he was elected the President of Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Devoting all his life for Vietnam Revolution career, the movement of international workers and communists, comrade Ton Duc Thang was honorably received the Gold Star Medal – the noblest medal of Vietnam, the Lenin Medal of the Soviet Russia, Soukhe-Bator Medal of Mongolia and many other noble awards.
Comrade Ton Duc Thang devoted all his life for the independence and freedom of the People and for the communist ideal. He is a bright image of indomitable revolution spirit and public-spirited and selfless morality, with the humble and simple manner, as President Ho Chi Minh used to say: “Comrade Ton Duc Thang is an example of revolution morality: all his life being industrious, thrifty, and upright, all his life devoting his best effort to serve revolution and people”.
For old age and weak health, after a time of serious illness, He passed away on 30 March 1980 in Ha Noi and was buried in Mai Dich Cemetery.