Nguyen Van Thieu on drums, 1969
Published: July 16, 2012
Song Jung Il ©Stars and Stripes
South Vietnam, July, 1969: President Nguyen Van Thieu sits in on drums for an impromptu musical session during dedication ceremonies for a rehabilitation center built by South Korean army troops. Thieu served as South Vietnam's wartime president from 1967 until the North Vietnamese prevailed in 1975. He fled the country upon the takeover and eventually settled in Foxboro, Mass., where he lived in relative obscurity. "He never wrote a memoir, granted few interviews and received few visitors," according to his 2001 Los Angeles Times obituary. "Neighbors saw him walking his dog around Neponset Reservoir, but they knew little about him."