Vietnamese Monk Burns Himself Alive

Thích Quảng Đức moments after setting fire to himself in Saigon as an act of protest
Thích Quảng Đức moments after setting fire to himself in Saigon as an act of protest

Historical Context

The Buddhist crisis in Vietnam throughout 1963 precipitated the downfall and assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngô Đình Diệm. It began with the shooting of nine civilians in Hue who were protesting the ban on the Buddhist flag.

On June 11, 1963, monk Thích Quảng Đức sat down at a busy Saigon intersection, doused himself in petrol and set himself alight. He did not utter a sound as he died.

John F. Kennedy said that "No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one." Malcolm Browne, the photographer, won a Pulitzer Prize for the image.

Photo Info


Photographer: Malcolm Browne
Date taken: June 11, 1963
Location taken: Saigon, South Vietnam

Source: The NY Post

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  • 1963-06-11 Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức immolates himself at a Saigon intersection, creating one of the Vietnam War's most iconic images

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