On today's date, April 7 in 1954, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower (left) during a news conference said this:
"Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the "falling domino" principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences."
This has since come to be known as his "Domino Theory" speech. It was a very important moment because Ike (the long used abbreviation of his name) was stating a policy that would become the basis of U.S. policy for many years to come. It would soon be used as the basis for U.S. intervention in South East Asia.
France's Impending Failure
By 1954 it became clear that he French government's attempt to re-establish control over it's colonial holdings in Indochina (another name for South East Asia) was failing. Indeed, the last stand for the French control came at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in which the French military was decisively
His main goal in outlining this dark vision of Viet Minh victory in this struggle was to drum-up U.S. congressional support behind increased aid to the French in their fight to hold onto Vietnam.
First Ike outlined what he saw as being the likely repercussions of a French loss in Vietnam. It was an economically important important source of raw materials: "Now, with respect to the first one, two of the items from this particular area that the world uses are tin and tungsten. They are very important. There are others, of course, the rubber plantations and so on." It would also mean giving over many more
The Results of the Speech
The speech had little impact towards Ike's central goal of lining up support for France in the area. As said the French were defeated a