SOUTH VIET NAM: Revolt at Dawn

In Saigon's yellow stucco Freedom Palace, South Viet Nam's President Ngo Dinh Diem woke with a start. Mortar shells were falling on the lawn, and paratroopers were assaulting the palace gate.

Tough, zealously anti-Communist Ngo Dinh Diem, 59, had been in tight spots before; he kept his nerve. From guard posts on the grounds and from within the building, Diem's two loyal battalions of palace guards gave as good as they got, turning back truckload after truckload of insurgents trying to charge the gate to the grounds. Diem himself repaired to a radio station that he had thoughtfully installed for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!