In 1967 President Lyndon Johnson sent me to where an army photographer took this picture- after the crew prepared each child for the picture. The soldiers are Republic of Vietnam(south) soldiers. The smoke in the background is from two smoke pots(burning oil)-to illustrate how the trouble-making(not all were trouble-making) Vietcong would start a fire to drive out the residents of a village so they could take what was left behind. The children in the picture were all given alot of candy and their mothers each received a very good sum of money(I knew because I had handed out much money to the very needy of the Vietcong(both peaceful and trouble-making).
The person who later received a Pulitzer Prize for submitting this picture had taken on the name of the deceased Associated Press photographer Nick Ut who had been executed prior to this picture being taken (Thieu of south Vietnam and Thang of north Vietnam both fired their pistols at the count of three as I watched). Ut, as some other news people have done, tried to start trouble to have some news to sell.
Bobby Dias on Ronald Reagan And The Berlin…