Battle of Dienbienphu Begins:  A force of 40,000 heavily armed Vietminh lay siege to the French garrison at Dienbienphu.  Using Chinese artillery to shell the airstrip, the Vietminh make it impossible for French supplies to arrive by air.  It soon becomes clear that the French have met their match.

Eisenhower Cites “Domino Theory” Regarding Southeast Asia:   Responding to the defeat of the French by the Vietminh at Dienbienphu, President Eisenhower outlines the Domino Theory:  “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.”

French Defeated at Dien Bien Phu

Geneva Convention Begins:  Delegates from nine nations convene in Geneva to start negotiations that will lead to the end of hostilities in Indochina.  The idea of partitioning Vietnam is first explored at this forum.

Geneva Convention Agreements Announced:  Vietminh General Ta Quang Buu and French General Henri Delteil sign the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam.  As part of the agreement, a provisional demarcation line is drawn at the 17th parallel which will divide Vietnam until nationwide elections are held in 1956.  The United States does not accept the agreement, neither does the government of Bao Dai.