July 21 in History

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July 21, 1954

Major world powers, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, reached agreement on the terms of a ceasefire for Indochina, ending nearly eight years of war. The war began in 1946 between nationalist forces of the Communist Viet Minh, under leader Ho Chi Minh, and France, the occupying colonial power following Japanese control during World War II.
The Geneva conference included France, the United Kingdom, the U.S., the U.S.S.R., People’s Republic of China, Cambodia, Laos, and both Vietnamese governments.

It ended with a peace treaty that called for independence for Vietnam and a 1956 election to unify the country. However, only France and Ho Chi Minh's DRV (Democratic Republic of Vietnam) signed the document.
The United States did not approve of the agreement. Instead, they backed Emperor Boa Dai and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem’s government in South Vietnam and refused to allow the elections, knowing, in Pres. Eisenhower’s words, that “Ho Chi Minh will win.” The result was the Second Indochina War, more commonly known as the Vietnam War.

Though we were reported as helping transport French troops to Vietnam our real history, in Indo-China, starts shortly after the above.

Read about the signing of the treaty with the French

The fall of Dien Bien Phu signalled defeat for France in Indo-China

President Dwight D Eisenhower said in a statement from Washington the agreement contained elements which he did not like - such as the division of Vietnam between north and south - and a great deal depended on how they worked in practice.

Senate leaders from both parties went one step further and expressed their alarm at what is widely regarded as a victory for Communism.

What followed the treaty and our start of destructive Indo-China History

July 21, 1878

The eight-hour was an established concept before the song. Shown is an 1856 banner from Melbourne, Australia.

Publication of "Eight Hours," written by Rev. Jesse H. Jones (music) and I.G. Blanchard (lyrics), the most popular labor song until "Solidarity Forever" was published by the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) in 1915.

Eight-Hours
Rev. Jesse H. Jones (music)
I.G. Blanchard (lyrics)

We mean to make things over,
We are tired of toil for naught
With but bare enough to live upon
And ne'er an hour for thought.
We want to feel the sunshine
And we want to smell the flow'rs
We are sure that God has willed it
And we mean to have eight hours;
We're summoning our forces
From the shipyard, shop and mill

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will.

The beasts that graze the hillside,
And the birds that wander free,
In the life that God has meted,
Have a better life than we.
Oh, hands and hearts are weary,
And homes are heavy with dole;
If our life's to be filled with drudg'ry,
What need of a human soul.
Shout, shout the lusty rally,
From shipyard, shop, and mill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will.

The voice of God within us
Is calling us to stand
Erect as is becoming
To the work of His right hand.
Should he, to whom the Maker
His glorious image gave,
The meanest of His creatures crouch,
A bread-and-butter slave?
Let the shout ring down the valleys
And echo from every hill.

Ye deem they're feeble voices
That are raised in labor's cause,
But bethink ye of the torrent,
And the wild tornado's laws.
We say not toil's uprising
In terror's shape will come,
Yet the world were wise to listen
To the monetary hum.
Soon, soon the deep toned rally
Shall all the nations thrill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will.

From factories and workshops
In long and weary lines,
From all the sweltering forges,
And from out the sunless mines,
Wherever toil is wasting
The force of life to live
There the bent and battered armies
Come to claim what God doth give
And the blazon on the banner
Doth with hope the nation fill:

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will.

Hurrah, hurrah for labor,
For it shall arise in might
It has filled the world with plenty,
It shall fill the world with light
Hurrah, hurrah for labor,
It is mustering all its powers
And shall march along to victory
With the banner of Eight Hours.
Shout, shout the echoing rally
Till all the welkin thrill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will.

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