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Tiananmen Square photograph collection
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Tiananmen Square photograph collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1812
  • Collection
  • 1989

The Tiananmen Square incident, also called June Fourth incident or 6/4, was a culmination of a series of protests and demonstrations in China in the spring of 1989 that culminated on the night of June 3–4 with a government crackdown on the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Although the demonstrations and their subsequent repression occurred in cities throughout the country, the events in Beijing—and especially in Tiananmen Square, historically linked to such other protests as the May Fourth Movement (1919)—came to symbolize the entire incident.

Writing on the inside front cover of the photo album reads as follows:
"伟大的一九八九年 历史片断 4/27-5/18"
(Translation: Great 1989, historical pieces: April 27 to May 18)

Labels on the album pages indicate that the first 23 photographs in the album were taken on April 27, 1989, and the following 19 photographs were taken on May 4th, 1989.

Writing on the inside of the back cover reads as follows:
"四月至六月简史
四.十五,胡耀邦逝世,四.十五 - 四.二五,学生及北京市民自发进行悼念活动。四.二二,耀邦追悼会,三名学生在人民大会堂外台阶下跪请愿。四.二六,人民日报社论定学生运动为“动乱”。四.二七,举行了近百万人的示威游行。五.四游行。五.五 - 五.十二,平静。五.十三,北大,人大,清华有数百人于广场绝食。五.十五戈氏访华。五.十七百万人民声援大游行。游行声援持续至十九日白天。17,18,19三天电台作了真实报道。五.二十凌晨0:30分,李鹏宣布对北京部分地区戒严。时隔半个月,发生了六.三惨案,或说是六.三暴乱"。

(Translation: A brief history from April to June
On April 15, 1989, Yaobang Hu passed away. From April 15 to April 25, students and citizens of Beijing spontaneous mourned. On April 22, the memorial service held for Yaobang Hu, three students kneeled in protest outside the Great Hall of the People. On April 26, the People’s Daily editorial described the student effort as “turmoil”. On April 27, near one million people held demonstrations. The demonstrations continues on May 4. From May 5 to May 12, the streets are calm. On May 13th, hundreds of students from Peking University, Renmin University of China and Tsinghua University conducted a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square. On May 15, Gorbachev visited China. On May 17, millions of people took on the streets to hold a solidarity parade. The solidarity continued until May 19th. On May 17 through 19, Media continually made the real reports. At 12:30 am on May 20, Peng Li announced the implementation of martial law in parts of Beijing. After half a month, on June 3 rd , massacre occurred — the 6/3 tragedy.)

[Anonymous Student Protestor]