The phone calls went out from Saigons Xa-Loi Buddhist pagoda to members of the foreign news corps. The message: Be at a certain location tomorrow for a very important happening. Next morning,June 11,1963,aides drenched a monk named Thich Quang Duc with aviation fuel and the monk calmly lit a match and set himself ablaze.
Of the foreign journalists alerted to the political protest against South Vietnams US-supported government,only one,Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press,showed up. The photos he took appeared on front pages around the globe and sent shudders all the way to the White House,prompting President John F. Kennedy to order a re-evaluation of his administrations Vietnam policy.
Browne died late Monday at a New Hampshire hospital. He was 81 years old.