Posts Tagged ‘Nanking

30
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-30-08: 15th Amendment

Japanese set up puppet regime at Nanking

On this day, Japan establishes its own government in conquered Nanking, the former capital of Nationalist China.

In 1937, Japan drummed up a rationale for war against Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist China (claiming Chinese troops attacked Japanese troops on maneuvers in a so-called “autonomous” region of China) and invaded northeastern China, bombing Shanghai and carving out a new state, Manchukuo.

Money and supplies poured into Free China from the United States, Britain, and France, until the Burma Road, which permitted free passage of goods into China from the West, was closed after a Japanese invasion of Indochina. Making matters more difficult, Chiang was forced to fight on two fronts: one against the Japanese (with U.S. help in the person of Gen. Joseph Stillwell, Chiang’s chief of staff), and another against his ongoing political nemesis, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung. (Although the United States advised concentrating on the Japanese first as the pre-eminent threat, Chiang was slow to listen.)

The Japanese proceeded to prosecute a war of terror in Manchukuo. With the capture of Nanking (formerly the Nationalist Chinese capital, which was now relocated to Chungking) by the Central China Front Army in December 1937, atrocities virtually unparalleled commenced. The army, under orders of its commander, Gen. Matsui Iwane, carried out the mass execution of more than 50,000 civilians, as well as tens of thousands of rapes. Nanking and surrounding areas were burned and looted, with one-third of its buildings utterly destroyed. The “Rape of Nanking” galvanized Western animus against the Japanese.

On March 30, 1940, Nanking was declared by the Japanese to be the center of a new Chinese government, a regime controlled by Wang Ching-wei, a defector from the Nationalist cause and now a Japanese puppet.

“Japanese set up puppet regime at Nanking.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6758.

1492 – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a decree expelling all Jews from Spain.

1533 – Henry VIII divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

1814 – The allied European nations against Napoleon marched into Paris.

1867 – The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.

1870 – Texas was readmitted to the Union.

1905 – U.S. President Roosevelt was chosen to mediate in the Russo-Japanese peace talks.

1950 – U.S. President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.

1972 – The Eastertide Offensive began when North Vietnamese troops crossed into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the northern portion of South Vietnam.

1993 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown hit his first home run.

1998 – Rolls-Royce was purchased by BMW in a $570 million deal.

King George endorses New England Restraining Act

Hoping to keep the New England colonies dependent on the British, King George III formally endorses the New England Restraining Act on this day in 1775. The New England Restraining Act required New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain as of July 1. An additional rule would come into effect on July 20, banning colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic.

“King George endorses New England Restraining Act.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:15 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=326.

15th Amendment adopted

Following its ratification by the requisite three-fourths of the states, the 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment reads, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” One day after it was adopted, Thomas Peterson-Mundy of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, became the first African American to vote under the authority of the 15th Amendment.

“15th Amendment adopted.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:16 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4876.

President Reagan shot

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

“President Reagan shot.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:17 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6852.

13
Dec
07

On This Day 12-13: John Rabe

John Rabe is a name worthy of remembering.

1577 – Five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth, England, to embark on Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe. The journey took almost three years.

1636 – The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1809 – The first abdominal surgical procedure was performed in Danville, KY, on Jane Todd Crawford. The operation was performed without an anesthetic.

1913 – It was announced by authorities in Florence, Italy, that the “Mona Lisa” had been recovered. The work was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911.

1921 – Britain, France, Japan and the United States signed the Pacific Treaty.

1937 – Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). An estimated 200,000 Chinese were killed over the next six weeks. The event became known as the “Rape of Nanking.”

1964 – In El Paso, TX, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande River, reshaping the U.S.-Mexican border. This ended a century-old border dispute.

1981 – Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in an attempt to crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Martial law ended formally in 1983.

1995 – China’s most influential democracy activist, Wei Jingsheng, who already had spent 16 years in prison, was sentenced to 14 more years.

2001 – Michael Frank Goodwin was arrested and booked on two counts of murder, one count of conspiracy and three special circumstances (lying in wait, murder for financial gain and multiple murder) in connection to the death of Mickey Thompson. Thompson and his wife Trudy were shot to death in their driveway on March 16, 1988. Thompson, known as the “Speed King,” set nearly 500 auto speed endurance records including being the first person to travel more than 400 mph on land.

During the “Rape of Nanking” an International Safety Zone had been created where Chinese refugees could go and be spared the indignation being wrought on the Chinese people by the Japanese Imperial Army.  The safety zone was patrolled by a German civilian named John Rabe.  John Rabe is responsible for saving tens of thousands of Chinese lives because he was able to prevent the Japanese from entering the safety zone in Nanking.  Japan was allied with Nazi Germany and John Rabe was a member of the Nazi Party.  Wearing his swastika armband he patrolled the perimeter of the safety zone and the Japanese soldiers respected the wishes of their ally by leaving the citizens inside the safety zone alone, which suggests that common Japanese soldiers were in control of their actions during this horrific event.  For more on this read this article:  http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/NanjingMassacre/NMZCRBR.html.

I’ve also read an account of the exploits of two Japanese Imperial Army officers who held a beheading contest.  Using their Samurai swords they beheaded Chinese civilians.  The beheading only counted if the head was chopped off with a single swing.  The exploits of the two officers were reported in Japanese newspapers much the way sporting events are reported in the United States.




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