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Kallie Szczepanski

Today in Asian History: Tiananmen Square Massacre Begins

By June 4, 2013

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Press of soldiers surrounds student protestors, Tiananmen Square, 1989.

On June 4, 1989, the People's Liberation Army stormed into Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, and killed hundreds or even thousands of mainly peaceful protesters.

The brutal crackdown happened in front of international reporters and photographers, in town to cover a summit between Chinese leaders and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Reports and photos smuggled out by the foreign press gave people around the world a front-row seat to the slaughter, sparking a huge outcry against the Chinese government.

See photos from Tiananmen Square, and read an interview with eyewitness and AP photographer Jeff Widener, who took the famous "Tank Man" photo.

Photo by Jeff Widener / Associated Press. Used with permission.

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