After liberation, the Hội An Communist Party Committee commanded the documents and artifacts related to the revolutionary history of Hội An for collecting, researching and displaying. On 2/9/1997 the Hội An Exhibition of Revolutionary History was inaugurated at No.12 Phan Châu Trinh Street and managed by the Culture and Information Committee Division.

Prior to this, in October 1982, the exhibition was upgraded for the first time and in February 1986 management of the exhibition was overseen by the Hoi An Center for Cultural Heritage and Management and Preservation. In 1992 the exhibition was moved to No.149 Trần Phú Street and in 1998 the exhibition was upgraded a second time. In 2010 it was moved to Hội An Museum at No. 10B Trần Hưng Đạo Street. The Exhibition of Revolutionary History is located on the second floor, displaying 377 documents and artifacts about the fighting of Hội An people against the enemy from the beginning of Indochina conflict until 1975.

The exhibition begins with an introduction about a movement against the French in Quảng Nam (1885-1887), led by Ngyễn Duy Hiệu, a patriot from Bến Trễ village, Cẩm Hà commune, Hội An. He was a military and political talent. He sacrificed himself to the enemy to save other members involved in the movement. Therefore, he is rightly remembered as a heroic martyr.

In June 1925 Hồ Chí Minh founded the Vietnamese Revolutionary Youth League in Guangzhou, China. In October 1927 Mr. Phan Thêm led a meeting at Đức An ancient house to establish the Vietnamese Revolutionary Youth League in Hội An. From then the revolutionary movement entered the orbit of influence of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts.

The photo of Đức An ancient house is displayed at the Exhibition of Revolutionary History. Đức An ancient house was restored by the government and has now become the memorial house of Comrade Cao Hồng Lãnh (Mr. Phan Thêm) and can be visited at No.129, Trần Phú street.

In spring of 1930 the Vietnamese Communist Party was established in Hongkong, China on 3/2/1930 by comrade Nguyễn Ái Quốc (then known as Hồ Chí Minh). On 28/3/1930 the Quảng Nam Province Provisional Government announced the establishment of the Provincial Communist Party with Mr. Phan Văn Định chosen as secretary. The meeting was held at the place named No.1 Pine Tree (Tân Thanh block, Tân An ward, Hội An). The photo of No.1 Pine Tree is displayed in the exhibition as a witness of this important event.

One month later, in April of 1930, the Hội An Cell of the Communist Party was established with four members and Mr. Hà Mùi as secretary.

From then the Communist Party led the people of Hội An in their prolonged revolutionary struggle. Under the repression of the enemy, Hội An people organized leaflet distribution and openly held daytime speeches. The Exhibition of Revolutionary History displays a stone bench in front of which Comrade Trần Kim Bảng stood in the Quảng Triệu Assembly Hall to give a speech at 11h30am on 01/9/1930.

There are many valuable photographs, artifacts and documents from the period 1930 – 1945 displayed here. One especially important artifact is a shirt belonging to Comrade Bùi Chát who is considered a hero of many glorious victories. He led an Engineer corp of No. 68 Company to mine a train of the enemy when it crossed the Hải Vân Pass in 1947. His team killed 600 African European soldiers from France. Comrade Bùi Chát was recognized and awarded as The Hero of the People’s Armed Forces by the government of Vietnam on 31/8/1955. He was the first person in Quảng Nam province to receive this award.

There are many valuable artifacts and photos from the Anti-French War displaying here. After the battle capturing Hồ Ngận (a puppet provincial governor) on 04/01/1949, Hồ Chí Minh gave a carbine gun carved with his name to Hội An as a gift for celebrating the triumph of the Hội An people and military. Although this battle was a very difficult one, accurate planning and careful preparation led to a fast and complete victory.

After ending the French resistance war, Hội An and the south of Vietnam faced the American resistance war. Through documents and artifacts of this period, you will understand the high price we paid for the peace of today. There is a photo in the exhibition of Hội An prison where thousands of our people and soldiers were imprisoned and tortured. The enemy used this prison as hell on earth in an attempt to reduce the willingness of Hội An people to fight for independence and freedom. But they never reached this goal. In the evening of 14/7/1967 Battalion No.2 of the Province’s military, in combination with the Hội An town Armed Forces, destroyed the prison and released 1200 people and soldiers imprisoning there.

After the 1968 Spring Offensive, many intense battles were carried out. There is a photo in the exhibition of Bà Temple where comrades Tống Văn Sương and Đỗ Trọng Hường were killed when they were attacked by the enemy’s USOM office and pacification team. 

During this period, Hội An people and military were continuously victorious in all conflicts.

In summary:

25/3/1975: Revolutionary Committee was established in every commune of Hội An town.

27/3/1975 at 12:00am: Hội An town Revolutionary Committee issued orders for total insurrections.

28/3/1975 at 4:00am : Hội An people took control of all important enemy bases. The Hội An prison was opened by revolutionary force and released 1500 people.

28/3/1975 at 6:00am : No.2 Company’s soldiers put the victory flag on the administrative office of Quảng Nam province. Hội An was liberated completely.

With the great victory, Hội An received many awards from the Government.

– 500 soldiers received 8686 medals and award certifications

– The armed force of Hội An town received three glorify flags.

– 09 communes and wards, 27 individuals received the “Hero of the People’s Armed Force” award

In this article, we cannot fully introduce all the artifacts displayed in the exhibition but every artifact is associated with historical events. The Hội An Exhibition of Revolutionary History is the right place for you to find out another part of Hội An’s rich history.

* Sources

– Book of Patriot Nguyễn Duy Hiệu (1847-1887), Đà Nẵng publisher, in 1997.

– Executive committee of Hội An communist party (1999), episode 1,  Đà Nẵng publisher.