Thursday, March 07, 2013

Saigon in Living Color

Friends in Vietnam have shared some incredible color footage of Saigon street life around 1940. This glimpse back in time is both remarkable and remarkably eerie when you consider what has unfolded on these same streets since.

35 years later and the same urban setting is far less serene. On the morning of April 29, 1975 the Americans signaled the emergency evacuation of Saigon by broadcasting Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" over Armed Forces Radio and some public address systems. Within a day and a half they were gone:

The same downtown setting after another 35 years. These few city blocks have been the backdrop to a history of events that define many of my generation.

1 comment:

craig havighurst said...

I visited in 2005 and felt after a day or two like I'd arrived home. Never has a city captured my heart so. I hope it's kept its charms and sleepy zen feeling even as western investment has perked up its economy. Thanks for the vintage footage. Besides more people and scooter traffic, Saigon feels very much like those scenes today.