13th AUGUST 1966


Few days are linked to historic, nation shattering , events. Here is a brief summary of today’s date in 1966 where in China plans were announced "for a new leap forward" after the first meeting in four years of the CPCC. The blueprint unveiled by the committee shows Peking’s determination to spread the words of leader Mao Zedong and purge all those "who have followed the path of capitalism". The Central Party said that anti-socialist right-wingers should receive "severe punishment" – but they should also be given a chance to repent and begin a new life. Thirty-five million copies of "The Selected Works of Mao Zedong" were printed and distributed nationwide. ‘Red Guards’ were mobilised; these were bands of radical students who were ordered to destroy the four "olds" in the country, customs, habits, culture and thinking. Colleges were shut so they could concentrate on revolution but the Red Guards began to terrorise almost anyone who stood for authority, attacking teachers and even parents, many of whom were tortured or beaten to death. Altogether some three million people were denounced and tens of thousands died in prison. At the same time Mao removed many of his opponents from within the party and retook absolute control of the party hierarchy. The revolution ended officially only with Mao’s death in 1976. Mao’s widow Jian Qing, Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan, and Zhang Chunqiao all active proponents, [Perhaps even instigators] of the Cultural Revolution were arrested. By the end of 1978 Deng Xiaoping assumed the title of Premier of China and Chairman of the CCP until 1982. In 1980 the “Gang of Four” were put on trial charged with attempting to overthrow the government, they were sentence to death, which was later commuted to long-term imprisonment.



2 thoughts on “13th AUGUST 1966

  1. Interesting blog. Brought back memories of teaching this period. I remember reading somewhere that Mao said a revolution doesn\’t begin with cucumber sandwiches but at the point of a gun – very true! I wonder how much of this period of history is actually taught to young Chinese today, or is it quietly censored.

  2. More background knowledge can be found in "WILD SWANS: 3 DAUGHTERS OF CHINA" Author: JUNG CHANG ISBN: 000 215357 2Tells the history of real people caught up in revolutionary china in the 20th C.

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