On 2 September 1945, approximately 500,000 people gathered in Ba Đình Square to hear read the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence and announce the creation of the (DRV) government. His words mimicked the American Declaration of Independence and also made a brief nod to the credo of liberty, equality and fraternity found in the French Constitution, some say in an attempt to reconcile with future allies and past enemies: “All people are created equal. They are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
No sooner had however, did the prospect of true Vietnamese independence vanish. On 12
September, in the tense and unruly atmosphere of a liberated , British
and French forces arrived to receive the unconditional surrender of the
Japanese army at the close of World War II. From then on, until the end of
March 1946, British and French forces clashed continually with southern Việt
Minh forces over control of and South Vietnam. Codenamed Operation
Masterdom by the British, the Southern Resistance War (Nam Bộ kháng chiến) reinstalled French rule in the south, in the process
officially killing the first American soldier in Vietnam.
REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:
 Ba Đình Square, named after the Ba Đình Uprising, is in the center of Ba Đình District of . When Ho Chi Minh died, the granite Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was built here to display his embalmed body. It remains a major site of tourism and pilgrimage.
 Lt. Col. A. Peter Dewey killed in .