11 june 1963

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On June 11, 1963, a large crowd watches in mute horror as a Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Duc sits down in a busy Saigon intersection and calmly allows himself to be doused in petrol and set on fire. The holy man committed suicide via immolation in protest of the Catholic persecution of Buddhists in his country, and pictures of his death were circulated around the world.

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The Burning Monk

Thích Quảng Đức, was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963.Quang Duc was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm. Photographs of his self-immolation were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm government. John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Duc on fire, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.” Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the monk’s death.

Quảng Đức’s act increased international pressure on Diệm and led him to announce reforms with the intention of mollifying the Buddhists. However, the promised reforms were not implemented, leading to a deterioration in the dispute. With protests continuing, the ARVN Special Forces loyal to Diệm’s brother, Ngô Đình Nhu, launched nationwide raids on Buddhist pagodas, seizing Quảng Đức’s heart and causing deaths and widespread damage. Several Buddhist monks followed Quảng Đức’s example, also immolating themselves. Eventually, an Army coup toppled Diệm, who was assassinated on 2 November 1963.

Interesting facts:

  • Quang Duc’s body was re-cremated during the funeral, but Duc heart remained intact and did not burn. It was considered to be holy and placed in a glass chalice at Xa Loi Pagoda. The intact heart relic is regarded as a symbol of compassion.
  • Despite the shock of the Western public, the practice of Vietnamese monks self-immolating was not unprecedented. Instances of self-immolations in Vietnam had been recorded for centuries, usually carried out to honor Gautama Buddha.
  • Photographs taken by Malcolm Browne of the self-immolation quickly spread across the wire services and were featured on the front pages of newspapers worldwide. The self-immolation was later regarded as a turning point in the Buddhist crisis and a critical point in the collapse of the Diem regime.
  • Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the monk’s death.
The Burning Monk

by Samsaran

Thích Quảng Đức was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk burned himself to death in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) on June 11 June 1963 to protest the treatment of Buddhists by Viet Nam’s Catholic President.

The monk remained in full lotus meditative position fully composed the entire time he was consumed by flames. Hundreds of people in that crowded market prostrated themselves before him. Even the policemen sent to stop the protest bowed before him.

He is revered as a Bodhisattva and greatly venerated by his people for his action. With all due respect to Thích Quảng Đức, I believe that taking his life in that manner was not a Buddhist act. We revere life. The courageous monk’s action changed nothing in Viet Nam but it was captured in an award-winning photograph by Malcolm Browne.

Today nobody much remembers why he did it but we all remember how he did it. How even in the face of incredible pain and the knowledge of his imminent death the 66-year-old monk never cried out and displayed no fear just perfect serenity.


The lesson can we draw from this is: “it can be done”. It is just as possible for us to conquer fear as it was for this man. It can be done and we can do it. Regular people. Us. Sam.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY! - On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood became the first two Black students to register at the University of Alabama.
Initially blocked at the door by Alabama Gov. George Wallace, Malone and Hood were able to register after being escorted by the Alabama National Guard as ordered by President John F. Kennedy.

CATTLE PUNCHING ON A JACK RABBIT

CATTLE PUNCHING IN THE WEST!

Some Cowboys use their favorite Bronc for Cattle Punching and some, as you can see, prefer the Jack Rabbit.

Mailed from Norton, Kansas on June 11, 1963 with the message:

“Dear Bud. Haven’t seen any this big yet but maybe tomorrow. Drove 603.9 miles today. Good roads. Very little traffic. Both fine. Don’t worry. Love, Hilda”

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Thích Quảng Đức (1897 – 11 June 1963, born Lâm Văn Túc), was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. Quang Duc was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm.