National Geographic : 1955 Jun
Just before coming to Viet Nam, I had been touring the Near East, India, and Pakistan to observe refugees made homeless by po litical and religious strife. And yet I was unprepared for the strange human paradoxes of Saigon, where I ob served the refugees as they arrived. The background of their flight is now history. The cease-fire agreement of July, 1954, signed in Geneva, gave the Communist Viet Minh forces provisional control of the land north of the 17th parallel, including a population of 12,000,000-more people than all New England-and the cities of Hanoi, Hai Duong, and Haiphong (map, page 862). To South Viet Nam the treaty assigned the land south of the 17th parallel, with 11,000,000 people, the capital city of Sai gon, and the rich farmlands of the south. French forces received the right to stage 861 Wide World Incident of Flight: a Curbside Bath From her chubby youngster a mother washes the dust of Hanoi, soon afterward occupied by Communists. Refugee baggage clutters the sidewalk. Two layers of palm leaf go into a conical coolie hat, called cai non.