June 4, 1989: Tiananmen Square massacre takes place

The following article from the History Channel:

Chinese troops storm through Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. The brutal Chinese government assault on the protesters shocked the West and brought denunciations and sanctions from the United States.

In May 1989, nearly a million Chinese, mostly young students, crowded into central Beijing to protest for greater democracy and call for the resignations of Chinese Communist Party leaders deemed too repressive. For nearly three weeks, the protesters kept up daily vigils, and marched and chanted. Western reporters captured much of the drama for television and newspaper audiences in the United States and Europe. On June 4, 1989, however, Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters. Turmoil ensued, as tens of thousands of the young students tried to escape the rampaging Chinese forces. Other protesters fought back, stoning the attacking troops and overturning and setting fire to military vehicles. Reporters and Western diplomats on the scene estimated that at least 300, and perhaps thousands, of the protesters had been killed and as many as 10,000 were arrested.

The savagery of the Chinese government’s attack shocked both its allies and Cold War enemies. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared that he was saddened by the events in China. He said he hoped that the government would adopt his own domestic reform program and begin to democratize the Chinese political system. In the United States, editorialists and members of Congress denounced the Tiananmen Square massacre and pressed for President George Bush to punish the Chinese government. A little more than three weeks later, the U.S. Congress voted to impose economic sanctions against the People’s Republic of China in response to the brutal violation of human rights.

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R.I.P. Rue McClanahan: February 21, 1934 – June 3, 2010

This has been a horrible year for ’80s stars. Golden Girls star, Rue McClanahan has died at the age of 76. She passed away at 1 AM this morning from a massive stroke.

Rue McClanahan was born Eddi-Rue McClanahan in Healdton, Oklahoma. She began acting on Off-Broadway in New York City in 1957, and made it to Broadway in 1969.

She got her television break when she played Maude’s (Bea Arthur) best friend, Vivian Harmon in the show Maude, which aired from 1972-1978.
In 1983-1984 McClanahan played Fran Harper, who was Thelma’s (or Mama’s) younger uptight sister.
Then she played her most popular character, the man crazy Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls from 1985 until 1992 and in The Golden Palace for one year after. Devereaux was the owner of a house which was lived in by three other roommates: Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur), Rose Nylund (Betty White), and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty). She received an Emmy Award in 1987 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Golden Girls. When speaking about her character, she said that Blanche, “is in love with life and she loves men. I think she has an attitude toward women that’s competitive. She is friends with Dorothy and Rose, but if she has enough provocation she becomes competitive with them. I think basically she’s insecure. It’s the other side of the Don Juan syndrome.”

McClanahan was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 1997, from which she completely recovered.

On November 14, 2009, she was to be honored for her lifetime achievements at an event “Golden: A Gala Tribute To Rue McClanahan” at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, California. The event was postponed due to McClanahan’s hospitalization. She had triple bypass surgery on November 4. It was announced on January 14, 2010, by Entertainment Tonight that while recovering from surgery she had suffered a minor stroke. In March 2010, Betty White reported on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that McClanahan was doing well and that her speech had returned to normal.

McClanahan was married six times: Tom Bish, with whom she had a son, Mark Bish; actor Norman Hartweg; Peter D’Maio; Gus Fisher; and Tom Keel. She married husband Morrow Wilson on Christmas Day in 1997.

She called her 2007 memoir “My First Five Husbands … And the Ones Who Got Away.”

With Rue McClanahan’s death, Betty White is the last remaining “Golden Girl”

Here is a Blanche tribute video:

Ronald Reagan Quote of the Week – 5/31/10

Instead of a one or two line quote this week, I will show President Reagan’s “Prayer for Peace“, which was given on Memorial Day, May 30, 1988:

Once each May, amid the quiet hills and rolling lanes and breeze-brushed trees of Arlington National Cemetery, far above the majestic Potomac and the monuments and memorials of our Nation’s Capital just beyond, the graves of America’s military dead are decorated with the beautiful flag that in life these brave souls followed and loved. This scene is repeated across our land and around the world, wherever our defenders rest. Let us hold it our sacred duty and our inestimable privilege on this day to decorate these graves ourselves-with a fervent prayer and a pledge of true allegiance to the cause of liberty, peace, and country for which America’s own have ever served and sacrificed.

During our observance of Memorial Day this year we have fresh reason to call to mind the service and sacrifices of the members of our merchant marine during World War II—these gallant seafarers have now deservedly received veteran status. More than 6,000 of them gave their lives in the dangerous and vital duty of transporting materiel to our forces around the globe. We will never forget them as we honor our war dead.

Our pledge and our prayer this day are those of free men and free women who know that all we hold dear must constantly be built up, fostered, revered, and guarded vigilantly from those in every age who seek its destruction. We know, as have our Nation’s defenders down through the years, that there can never be peace without its essential elements of liberty, justice, and independence.

Those true and only building blocks of peace were the lone and lasting cause and hope and prayer that lighted the way of those whom we honor and remember this Memorial Day. To keep faith with our hallowed dead, let us be sure, and very sure, today and every day of our lives, that we keep their cause, their hope, their prayer, forever our country’s own.

In recognition of those brave Americans to whom we pay tribute today, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 1988, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o’clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

I also direct all appropriate Federal officials and request the Governors of the several States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon during this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control, and I request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on this day for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.