Ngo Dinh Diem was the first president of South Vietnam (1955–1963). In the wake of the French withdrawal from Indochina as a result of the 1954 Geneva Accords, Diệm led the effort to create the Republic of Vietnam. Accruing considerable US support due to his staunch anti-communism, he achieved victory in a 1955 plebiscite. 12,000 suspected opponents of Diem were killed between 1955 and 1957 and by the end of 1958 an estimated 40,000 political prisoners had been jailed.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot into heavy snow and a temperature of −30 °C (−22 °F). Although the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue.
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko (/tʃɜrˈnɛŋkoʊ/; Russian: Константи́н Усти́нович Черне́нко, 24 September 1911 – 10 March 1985) was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985. Chernenko was also Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 11 April 1984 until his death. jpg
Lindon B. Johnson was the president in 1965, during the time of the book. He drafts two of the characters in the army, and they must drop out of school and discontinue their social lives with their friends.