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500 Dong 1972, South Vietnam

in Krause book Number: 33
Years of issue: 1972
Edition: --
Signatures: Tran Van Thi (Administrator - Mot Quan -Tri Vien); Kieu Phan Que (Director - Giam-Doc Phat-Hanh)
Serie: 1972 Issue
Specimen of: 1972
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 154 x 76
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited, New Malden

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

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500 Dong 1972

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watermark

South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu's wife's, Madame Nguyen Thi Mai Anh head, in profile.

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500 Dong 1972

Dinh Dôc Lâp Dinh Dôc Lâp

Building of the Independence Palace (Dinh Dôc Lâp), also known as Reunification Palace in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). Ornamental guilloche pattern, lathework and denomination rosettes.

Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), also known as Reunification Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Thống Nhất), built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.

In 1858, France launched an attack on Đà Nẵng, starting its invasion of Vietnam. In 1867, France completed its conquest of southern Vietnam (Cochinchina), comprising the provinces of Biên Hòa, Gia Định, Định Tường, Vĩnh Long, An Giang, and Hà Tiên. To consolidate the newly established colony, on 23 February 1868, Pierre-Paul de La Grandière, Governor of Cochinchina, held a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of a new palace to replace the old wooden palace built in 1863. The new Governor's Palace was designed by Achille-Antoine Hermitte, who was also the architect of the Hong Kong City Hall. The first cubic stone, measuring 50 cm along each edge, with indentations containing French gold and silver coins bearing Napoleon III's effigy, came from Biên Hòa.

The complex covered an area of 12 hectares, including a palace with an 80-meter-wide façade, a guest-chamber capable of accommodating 800 people, with spacious gardens covered by green trees and a lawn. Most of the building materials were imported from France. Owing to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, construction fell behind schedule and was not completed until 1873. The palace was named Norodom Palace after the then king of Cambodia, Norodom (1834–1904). The avenue in front of the palace bore the same name. From 1871 to 1887, the palace was used by the French Governor of Cochinchina (Gouverneur de la Cochinchine); therefore, it was referred to as the Governor’s Palace. From 1887 to 1945, all Governors-General of French Indochina used the palace as their residence and office. The office of the Cochinchinese Governors was relocated to a nearby villa.

On 9 March 1945, Japan defeated and replaced France in French Indochina in a successful coup. Norodom Palace became the headquarters of Japanese colonial officials in Vietnam. In September 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in World War II and France returned to Vietnam and Norodom Palace was restored to its position as the office of the French colonists.

On 7 May 1954, France surrendered to the Việt Minh after its defeat at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ. France agreed to sign the Geneva Accords and withdrew its troops from Vietnam. According to the accords, Vietnam would be divided pending general elections. The 17th Parallel would act as the temporary border until a vote based on universal suffrage was held to establish a unified Vietnamese government. North Vietnam was under the control of the Việt Minh communists, while South Vietnam was under the anti-communist State of Vietnam. On 7 September 1954, Norodom Palace was handed over to the prime minister of the State of Vietnam, Ngô Đình Diệm by a representative of the French presence in Vietnam, General Paul Ély.

In 1955, Diệm defeated former Emperor Bảo Đại, the chief of state of the State of Vietnam, in a referendum. Ngô Đình Diệm declared himself president of the newly proclaimed Republic of Vietnam and renamed the building the Independence Palace. According to fengshui, the palace is located on a dragon’s head; therefore, it was also referred to as the Dragon’s Head Palace.

On 27 February 1962, two pilots of Diệm's Republic of Vietnam Air Force, Nguyễn Văn Cử and Phạm Phú Quốc, rebelled and flew two A-1 Skyraider aircraft towards the palace and bombed it, instead of going on a raid against the Việt Cộng. As a result, almost the entire left wing was destroyed. However, Diệm and his family escaped the assassination attempt. As it was almost impossible to restore the palace, Diệm ordered it demolished and commissioned a new building in its place. The new palace was constructed according to a design by Ngô Viết Thụ, a Vietnamese architect who won the First Grand Prize of Rome (Grand Prix de Rome) in 1955, the highest recognition of the Beaux-Arts school in Paris. He was also a laureate of the Prix de Rome awarded by the French government.

The construction of the new Independence Palace started on 1 July 1962. Meanwhile, Diệm and his ruling family moved to Gia Long Palace (today the Ho Chi Minh City Museum). However, Diệm did not see the completed hall as he and his brother and chief adviser Ngô Đình Nhu were assassinated after a coup d'état led by General Dương Văn Minh in November 1963. The completed hall was inaugurated on 31 October 1966 by the chairman of the National Leadership Committee, General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, who was then the head of a military junta. The Independence Hall served as Thiệu’s home and office from October 1967 to 21 April 1975, when he fled the country as communist North Vietnamese forces swept southwards in the decisive Ho Chi Minh Campaign.

On 8 April 1975, Nguyễn Thanh Trung, a pilot of the South Vietnamese air force and an undetected communist spy, flew an F-5E aircraft from Biên Hòa Air Base to bomb the palace, but caused no significant damage. At 10:45 on 30 April 1975, a tank of the North Vietnamese army bulldozed through the main gate, ending the Vietnam War.

In November 1975, after the negotiation convention between the communist North Vietnam and their colleagues in South Vietnam was completed, the Provisional Revolutionary Government renamed the palace Reunification Hall (Hội trường Thống Nhất).

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500 Dong 1972

Panthera tigris corbetti

The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is a tiger subspecies dispersed throughout the Indochina region of Southeastern Asia. It is categorized as Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because in 2007, the population comprised less than 2,500 individuals with no sub populations greater than 250 individuals. Estimates range from 202 to 352 total individuals in the wild. Therefore, the Indochinese tiger is considered to approach the threshold for Critically Endangered.There is restricted access to border areas where this subspecies lives, so there is very little accurate information regarding its population status.

The tigers in peninsular Malaysia, formerly classified as Indochinese, have recently been reclassified as a separate subspecies, the Malayan tiger Panthera tigris jacksoni.

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