Miller Center

JFK’s Memoir Dictation on the Assassination of Diem

In this recording, made on the evening of Monday, November 4, 1963, less than three weeks before he himself would eventually be assassinated, Kenedy reflected upon the tumultuous events that had transpired in Saigon over the previous weekend, the overthrow and murder of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu.

While Kennedy was recording, his young children, John John (aged 3) and Caroline (aged 6), joined their father for a few moments.

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President John F. Kennedy, thirty-fifth President of the United States, 1961-1963.

Biographical sketch from American President.

Newspaper Article Ngo Dinh Diem was the first president of South Vietnam, 1955-1963.

Biographical sketch from The National Security Archive.

Newspaper ArticleDictabelt Tape M, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Raw audio file available at the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings portal.

"Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Deparment of State," November 2, 1963 | Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian.

Oral History from a U.S. Navy Nurse in Saigon during November 1963 coup against the South Vietnamese government. Source: Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center.

CIA memo, "The Situation in South Vietnam," November 2, 1963 | Source: National Security Archive.