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When the French forces were defeated at Dienbienphu in 1954, they were forced to withdraw their territorial claims to the country. The Geneva convention divided Vietnam into separate North and South republics. 750,000 Catholics and others with western ties fled to the South. In 1961 the United States came to the aid of the South to resist Northern insurgency and full scale guerrilla war developed. In 1973 an agreement was signed ending the war in Vietnam. Hostilities continued however until 1975 when the South was defeated. Reunification of the country took place July 2, 1976. Hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the country, including 400,000 who returned to China. Many records were lost or destroyed in the wars. In 1995 Vietnam and the United States officially normalized relations and Vietnam became a member of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), and the United Nations, and signed a trade agreement with the European Union.<ref name="profile">The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Vietnam,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 2001.</ref>
 
==Local Histories and Gazetteers==
 
Research use: Supplement genealogies and official records for historical periods. Contain unique information on widows and wives not found elsewhere.
 
Record Type: These are historical, geographic studies of specific villages and towns that include some biographical and genealogical information.
 
Time Period: 1500 to present.
 
Contents: Each history covers a specific city, county or prefecture. Topics covered include local legends, folklore, famous or influential families or clans, historical events, population, trade, education, transportation, local literary contributions, and biographies of prominent individuals, and mention of local officials, persons who lived long lives, and widows.
 
Location: Found scattered in libraries and archives in Vietnam and other countries.
Population coverage: Include mainly important personalities and categories of individuals in a specific area; cover less than 5% of the population.
 
Reliability: Generally very reliable.<ref name="profile"/>
== References ==
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