The only mother-daughter pair to appear together on Meet the Press traveled a long way to be on the program: South Vietnam’s Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, and her daughter Mademoiselle Le Thuy were the Meet the Press guests on October 13th, 1963. Madame Nhu was the wife of Ngo Dinh Nhu, the powerful leader of the secret police in South Vietnam and Political Counselor to his brother, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. Because President Diem was a lifelong bachelor, Madame Nhu took over the role of first lady in South Vietnam. She gained prominence in her country and worldwide as a glamorous trendsetter, but Madame Nhu was also one of the president’s closest advisers and frequently referred to as the most powerful, and feared, woman in Vietnam. She was famously outspoken, and a harsh critic of those who opposed her brother-in-law’s regime both inside Vietnam and in the United States. She appeared on Meet the Press in the midst of a high-profile speaking tour across America which she claimed was in order to “understand why we can’t get along better.” In fact Nhu spent much of the tour attacking President Diem’s critics and speaking out against the United States government for reducing aid to Diem. While Madame Nhu was still on her tour, in November of 1963, her husband and Diem were executed in a coup in South Vietnam.
Watch the clip from October of 1963 to see moderator Ned Brooks explain why Madame Nhu had brought her daughter with her to Meet the Press, and to see an affectionate moment between the two women…
Betsy Fischer Martin - the Senior Executive Producer of Meet the Press - poses a trivia question on Twitter, @BetsyMTP about the 65 years of history-making moments and guests on Meet The Press. Check Press Pass for answers and video clips!