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U.S. Information Agency Searching for New Term for Viet Cong

June 4, 1962 - The U.S. Information Agency is sponsoring a contest in Saigon for a new name for the Viet Cong guerrillas, who are fighting to overthrow President Ngo Dinh Diem’s Government. “Viet Cong” is a contraction of “Vietnamese Communist,” but the agency does not think it is the type of name to inspire hatred among the country’s illiterate masses. It asked its Vietnamese employees to suggest “a colloquial peasant term implying disgust or ridicule.” A prize equivalent to $47 will be awarded. The agency said it wanted to come up with a name that would influence the South Vietnamese to regard the Red guerrillas “with contempt.”


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