Tiananmen Square Massacre


Barbara J. Feldman

After the death of pro-democracy Chinese official Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, mourners gathered at Tiananmen Square in Beijing by the thousands. Weeks passed and the crowd grew larger, filled with students and intellectuals demanding democratic reforms. On June 4, the People’s Liberation Army tanks cleared the Square, and hundreds of causalities and injuries ensued.

  • BBC On This Day: 1989 Massacre in Tiananmen Square4 stars

    This one page BBC news article about the Tiananmen Square events of June 4, 1989 includes a video news report and links to a China country profile. In addition to the news report, there is a sidebar analyzing the event. "The demonstrations in Tiananmen Square have been described as the greatest challenge to the communist state in China since the 1949 revolution."

  • The Epoch Times: Twentieth Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre5 stars

    For the 2009 twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, independent news site The Epoch Times created a special edition with dozens of articles analyzing the event. Of particular note is "China Briefs: Remembering Tiananmen" with news stories from around the world, and several photo galleries. The first of these galleries includes several disturbing pictures, but does include a warning at the top of the page.

  • New York Times: Tiananmen Square5 stars

    "In the early hours of June 4, as the world watched in horror, the tanks of the People's Liberation Army rolled toward Tiananmen Square and troops fired on the crowds, killing hundreds and wounding thousands." This New York Times section is a collection of reporting from both 2009 (the twentieth anniversary) and 1989. Notable clicks include the lead article by Nicholas D. Kristof, which provides an excellent background on the death of Hu Yaobang, a precursor to the protests that lead up to the Tiananmen Square tragedy, and the blog entry "Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen."

  • PBS Frontline: The Gate of Heavenly Peace5 stars

    In addition to background about the PBS film The Gate of Heavenly Peace, this companion site contains articles analyzing the events leading up to the demonstrations, video and audio clips, posters, and photographs. Even though one of the images is broken, my favorite click is the Interactive Tour of Tiananmen Square. Click on any image to learn more about Tiananmen Square.

  • PBS Frontline: The Tank Man5 stars

    "After all others had been silenced, his lonely act of defiance against the Chinese regime amazed the world. What became of him? And 20 years later, has China succeeded in erasing this event from its history?" The Tankman referenced in the title of this site was an unknown man, captured in several photographs, standing in the middle of the street in front of a line of tanks arriving at Tiananmen Square on that fateful day in 1989. This PBS Frontline site is my Tiananmen Square pick of the week. Not only can you watch the entire 90 minute PBS special online, but the site also includes a timeline of events, world reaction, and the transcript of a panel discussion on China's struggle to control information and censor the Internet.

  • By June 8,2010

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!



    The Tiananmen Square Protests
    The Tiananmen Square Protests
    by The New York Times
    (Kindle Edition)
    Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989 (Asian Voices)
    Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989 (Asian Voices)
    by Philip J. Cunningham
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $17.22

    Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square
    Last Kiss in Tiananmen Square
    by Lisa Zhang Wharton
    (Paperback)
    - Usually ships in 24 hours
    Price: $1.23