Thirty-seven years ago, on April 5, 1975, Holt evacuated exactly 409 children from Saigon in what has now famously become known as the “Vietnam Babylift.” Holt’s flight – one of several agency-arranged “babylifts” at the end of the war – came two days after President Gerald Ford announced that all Vietnamese children currently identified for adoption to U.S. families would be airlifted out of Vietnam. As it became apparent that Saigon would soon fall to the North, the 409 children in Holt’s care boarded a chartered Pan Am flight to join their adoptive families in the U.S. Between April 2 and April 29, approximately 3,000 children in total were evacuated, joining families in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada.
This day and the days leading up to it remain some of the most dramatic and heart-wrenching in Holt’s history.
To learn more about international adoption from Vietnam and the Vietnam Babylift, click here to read an article Holt published in April 2000 for a special Vietnam Adoptee Reunion. (article written by John Aeby, Holt’s late director of communications)
For more articles, photos and personal stories about this historic event, click here.
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