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"On This Date in History" Calendar

National Former POW Day

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Maison Centrale, or Hoa Lo Prison, was originally constructed by the French Colonial Government in Hanoi's French Quarter from 1886 to 1901. After Vietnamese forces pushed the French out in 1954, the Hoa Lo Prison fell under the authority of Vietnam. When the Vietnam War erupted shortly after, the North Vietnamese used the Hao Lo Prison to house United States prisoners of war, earning it the infamous nickname, “Hanoi Hilton."

This simple red brick is from the destruction of the Hoa Lo Prison and is symbolic of our Military Veterans’ courageous service during the Vietnam War. The artifact serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and hardships our former prisoners of war endured. This brick from the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” was recovered in 1993 and presented to the museum by the “Doggers” group in June 2018. (NCM photo)


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