Browsing: Places

A Brief History On June 4, 1989, an estimated tens of thousands Chinese military troops opened fire on perhaps a million Chinese protestors at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the capital of China.  While numbers of troops, protestors, and casualties are only estimates, because historically, governments cannot be counted on to provide accurate accounts of embarrassing events, as many as 10,000 or more of the peaceful protestors may have died in the massacre. Digging Deeper Not only were hundreds or thousands of people shot, but many others were also trampled in the rush to avoid the gunfire or crushed under the…

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A Brief History On May 19, 1959, the North Vietnamese Army formed Group 559 and gave the group the job of establishing a reliable supply route for NVA and Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam.  The result became the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a network of roads and footpaths used by the communist North to funnel people and supplies to the South, via Laos and Cambodia. Digging Deeper Called by the American spy group the NSA “one of the great achievements of military engineering of the 20th century,” the Ho Chi Minh trail was a constant target of US bombing…

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A Brief History On May 18, 1944, Soviet leader Josef Stalin ordered the deportation of the Tatar population of the Crimea to far away Uzbekistan.  Stalin accused the Tatars of collaborating with the German army that had invaded Ukraine and the USSR, and he was ruthless with his “relocation,” moving women and children but also communist party members and members of the Soviet armed forces. Digging Deeper Like other ethnic groups in Ukraine, the Tatars had come from somewhere else originally, in this case a Turkic people that had settled in the peninsula from the 13th to the 17th centuries,…

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A Brief History On May 10, 1922, the US annexed an atoll in the North Pacific, an unoccupied, mostly underwater formation called Kingman Reef.  Between Hawaii and Samoa, the 7.4 acre reef is known as the Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Digging Deeper Other than the 50 states and Puerto Rico, the US owns many territories, mostly islands in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.  Some of these include the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States…

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A Brief History On April 27, 1945, Finnish soldiers were photographed proudly raising the Finnish war flag on top of a concrete cairn where the borders of Finland, Norway, and Sweden meet.  A famous photograph, the shot is often called “Raising the Flag on the Three-Country Cairn.” Digging Deeper An opportunistic bully, the USSR tried to capitalize on the chaos of World War II to expand their own borders, in Poland, the Far East, and in Finland.  From 1939 to 1940, the Finns fought the Soviets in the Winter War, and again in the Continuation War of 1941 to 1944. …

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