1955 in the Vietnam War
In 1955, the Prime Minister of South Vietnam Ngô Đình Diệm faced a severe challenge to his rule over South Vietnam from the Bình Xuyên criminal gang and the Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo religious sects. In the Battle of Saigon in April, Diệm's army eliminated the Bình Xuyên as a rival and soon also reduced the power of the sects. The United States, which had been wavering in its support of Diệm before the battle, strongly supported him afterwards.Diệm declined to enter into talks with North Vietnam concerning an election in 1956 to unify the country. Diệm called a national election in October and easily defeated Head of State Bảo Đại, thus becoming President of South Vietnam. In communist North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh initiated a land reform program that was accomplished with many executions and imprisonments of ""landlords."" Ho was unable to get the support of China and the Soviet Union to press for preliminary talks that would lead to the 1956 elections called for in the Geneva Accord.