top of page

Madame Nhu Egged at Columbia University

Oct. 12, 1963 - Madame Nhu, South Vietnam’s controversial First Lady who was accorded a standing ovation at Fordham University last night, was the target of eggs, chalk, and buse at Columbia University today. None of the eggs or chalk struck Madame Nhu or her daughter, Le Thuy, as they left the campus by car after a speaking engagement. About 300 persons were outside Columbia’s McMillin Theatre, where she had spoken. Some chanted, “Down with Madame Nhu,” as she left the building. Earlier, pickets marched outside the Broadway entrance of the theatre carrying signs with such messages as: “Phu on Nhu” and “No Nhus is Good News.” A capacity audience of nearly 800 people waited in the theatre for more than an hour until 1:45 p.m. to hear the talk, which was sponsored by the International Students Club. Madame Nhu inadvertently provoked laughter in discussing the recent beating of American correspondents in Saigon. She said her country’s police “never beat anybody, chiefly Americans, without some reason.” Discussing the now famous charge that she had described the fiery suicides of Buddhist monks as “barbecues,” Madame Nhu said she had considered ridicule the best method of preventing additional suicides. Asked later for her reaction to her reception at Columbia, she said: “I have seen worse. The audience made up for all the noise outside.” On her reaction to New York, she said: “Not the right place to retire, but it is a very pleasant city, and I would like to know it better.”


bottom of page