This Week* In Cambodian History- October 1-5

On October 1, 1949, rebel comander Dap Chhoun surrendered to the government. He is left free to control a large part of northern Cambodia as a virtual warlord. 

On October 1, 1995, a top Cambodian army official stated that the Khmer Rouge massacred 17 Cambodians and 11 Vietnamese on the shores of Tonle Sap Lake the previous month. The Governor of Siem Reap, where the incident reportedly occurred, indicated that only two civilians were killed.

On October 1, 1973, the FANK 3rd Division was pushed north of the Prek Thnaot River, the last physical barrier below the capital. The next day, it deserted Kompong Toul intersection of Routes 3 and 4 after suffering 107 casualties. The 1st Division’s 1st Brigade and a squadron of M-113s APCs (FANK had no tanks) came from the southwest and prevented the front from collapsing.

On October 1, 2010, the first rehabilitation work on the Cambodia railway was completed. The section between Phnom Penh and Touk Meas- 118km from Phnom Penh and near Kampot, began a cargo train service operating once or twice per week carrying cement from Kampot to Phnom Penh. 

 On October 2, 1954, the first US Ambassador resident at Phnom Penh, Robert M. McClintock, presented his credentials.

He brought with him a letter personally addressed to Sihanouk fro President Eisenhower.

Your Majesty:

The people of the United States have watched with concern and admiration the struggle of Cambodia against unwarranted Communist aggression. The United States is happy that Cambodia has reaffirmed its independence and that your Kingdom is in a position now to undertake a course which will secure that sovereign freedom for which your people fought.

At this time when Cambodia has so convincingly demonstrated its independence and its stern determination to maintain that independence, I desire Your Majesty to know that my Government will be pleased to consider ways in which our two countries can more effectively cooperate in the joint task of stemming the threats facing your territories and maintaining peace and prosperity in your Kingdom.

With assurances of my personal esteem and high regard,



On October 2, 2009, Sihanouk wrote he had lived too long and wished to die. “Lengthy longevity bears on me like an unbearable weight,” he said in a handwritten note, published on his website.

On 3 October, 2008, the first major clash of the Preah Vihear crisis took place. An exchange of rifle and rocket fire wounded one Cambodian and two Thai soldiers.

On October 3, 1955, Prince Sihanouk formed a government as prime minister.

On 4 October 1946, the road in front of the National Museum was named as the “rue Groslier” to commemorate George Groslier- artist, author, archaeologist, historian and art historian and founder of the museum. He spent his whole life studying Khmer culture and civilization, especially history, history of art, archaeology and Khmer classical dance.  publishing numerous books and articles that are still useful and relevant to research about Cambodia today. The ceremony was presided over by His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk and other important guests such as H.E Penn Nouth, Governor of the City of Phnom Penh, M. Pénavaire, Commissioner of the French Republic in Cambodia and other officials, and notably also by his son, Bernard-Philippe Groslier who also became a well-known archaeologist and was Curator of Angkor Monuments from 1960 until 1975.

On October 4, 1965, the first USAF bombing runs over Cambodia began.

On October 5 1992, voter registration opened in Phnom Penh for the UNTAC sponsored 1993 elections.

On October 5, 2018, The EU announced that Cambodia would likely lose its special access to European markets under the so-called Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme after it conducted a six-month review of its duty-free status launched the previous week.

…*And so we come full circle after a year of ‘This Week in Cambodian History’. From now on the archived articles will repeat every Wednesday.

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