On This Day, June 4, 1989 – Chinese Troops Massacre Tiananmen Square Protesters

TianenmenProtest

1989 – Chinese troops storm through Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. The brutal Chinese government assault on the protesters shocked the West and brought denunciations and sanctions from the United States.

In May 1989, nearly a million Chinese, mostly young students, crowded into central Beijing to protest for greater democracy and call for the resignations of Chinese Communist Party leaders deemed too repressive. For nearly three weeks, the protesters kept up daily vigils, and marched and chanted. Western reporters captured much of the drama for television and newspaper audiences in the United States and Europe. On June 4, 1989, however, Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters. Turmoil ensued, as tens of thousands of the young students tried to escape the rampaging Chinese forces. Other protesters fought back, stoning the attacking troops and overturning and setting fire to military vehicles. Reporters and Western diplomats on the scene estimated that at least 300, and perhaps thousands, of the protesters had been killed and as many as 10,000 were arrested.

The savagery of the Chinese government’s attack shocked both its allies and Cold War enemies. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared that he was saddened by the events in China. He said he hoped that the government would adopt his own domestic reform program and begin to democratize the Chinese political system. In the United States, editorialists and members of Congress denounced the Tiananmen Square massacre and pressed for President George Bush to punish the Chinese government. A little more than three weeks later, the U.S. Congress voted to impose economic sanctions against the People’s Republic of China in response to the brutal violation of human rights.


1647 – The British army seized King Charles I and held him as a hostage.

1674 – Horse racing was prohibited in Massachusetts.

1783 – A hot-air balloon was demonstrated by Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier. It reached a height of 1,500 feet.

1805 – Tripoli was forced to conclude peace with U.S. after conflicts over tribute.

1812 – The Louisiana Territory had its name changed to the Missouri Territory.

1816The Washington was launched at Wheeling, WV. It was the first stately, double-decker steamboat.

1892 – The Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco.

1896 – Henry Ford made a successful test drive of his new car in Detroit, MI. He called the vehicle was called a “Quadricycle.”


Rose-Sanderson-Votes-for-Women

1919 – The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.

The women’s suffrage movement was founded in the mid-19th century by women who had become politically active through their work in the abolitionist and temperance movements.

In 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was formed to push for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That year, Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right to vote.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the role of women in American society was changing drastically; women were working more, receiving a better education, bearing fewer children, and several states had authorized female suffrage. In 1913, the National Woman’s party organized the voting power of these enfranchised women to elect congressional representatives who supported woman suffrage, and by 1916 both the Democratic and Republican parties openly endorsed female enfranchisement.

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it the law of the land. Eight days later, the 19th Amendment took effect.


1931 – The first rocket-glider flight was made by William Swan in Atlantic City, NJ.

1939 – The first shopping cart was introduced by Sylvan Goldman in Oklahoma City, OK. It was actually a folding chair that had been mounted on wheels.

1940 – The British completed the evacuation of 300,000 troops at Dunkirk, France.

1942 – The Battle of Midway began. It was the first major victory for America over Japan during World War II. The battle ended on June 6 and ended Japanese expansion in the Pacific.

1944 – The U-505 became the first enemy submarine captured by the U.S. Navy.

1944 – During World War II, the U.S. Fifth Army entered Rome, which began the liberation of the Italian capital.

1946 – Juan Peron was installed as Argentina’s president.

1947 – The House of Representatives approved the Taft-Hartley Act. The legislation allowed the President of the United States to intervene in labor disputes.

1954 – French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc initialed treaties in Paris giving “complete independence” to Vietnam.

1960 – The Taiwan island of Quemoy was hit by 500 artillery shells fired from the coast of Communist China.


1370357525-ten-cent-beer-night

1974 – The Cleveland Indians had “Ten Cent Beer Night”. Due to the drunken and unruly fans the Indians forfeited to the Texas Rangers.


1974 – Sally Murphy became the first woman to qualify as an aviator with the U.S. Army.

1984 – For the first time in 32 years, Arnold Palmer failed to make the cut for the U.S. Open golf tournament.

1985 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling striking down an Alabama law that provided for a daily minute of silence in public schools.

1986 – Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pled guilty in Washington to spying for Israel. He was sentenced to life in prison.

1986 – The California Supreme Court approved a law that limited the liability of manufacturers and other wealthy defendants. It was known as the “deep pockets law.”

2003 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban “partial birth” abortions with a 282-139 vote.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; History.com

 

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