Today in history

June 5, 1989–In Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government crushed a student-led demonstration for democratic reform and against government corruption, killing hundreds, or perhaps thousands of demonstrators in the strongest anti-government protest since the 1949 revolution. Ironically, the name Tiananmen means “Gate of Heavenly Peace”.

A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The man, calling for an end to the recent violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener)

Today in History–Beware the Ides of March

March 15, 44 BC–Julius Caesar is assassinated by a group of about Roman senators, led by Brutus and Cassius. As you may remember from high school literature class, in Shakespeare’s play, Caesar is warned by a soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.”

The Romans kept track of days on their calendar by dividing each month up into three separate points marking the beginning, middle and end of the month. You may have guessed it, but the Ides fall in the middle of the month, on the 15th of March, May, July and October and the 13th for the rest of the year.

Vincenzo Camuccini