The Communist Party of China at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park

The Communist Party of China at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park

[7/2/21 The Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester. Photos by David Kramer except where indicated.]

Yesterday, with much fanfare, the Communist Party of China celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. The anniversary represents a fitting moment to see how the CPC is represented on the Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park. [SEE FULL SERIES AT END]

The Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester in Highland Park is a unique historical repository. The four foot long pieces begin at 300 B.C. — depicting the first migrations from China to what is now Vietnam —  and is meant to end with the bombings of the World Trade Centers on September 11th, 2001.

The Timeline itself focuses mostly on the American experience. Only a few pieces are dedicated to events inside China: the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China, the Cultural Revolution in its various incarnations, Nixon’s visit in 1972 and the 1989 suppression at Tiananmen Square that arguably cast the long term direction of the CPC in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The relatively few pieces about China ultimately show how remote China really is to the American experience.

September 30, 1949 Mao Tse-Tung formally becomes chairman of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

This piece represents the schism between Soviet and Chinese communists. June 22, 1960 Russian Chairman Khrushchev denounces Chinese Communists. 

September, 1965 In China, Mao Tse-tung is planning to begin his “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” and needs his army and resources for his own purposes.

November 14th, 1966. Chinese Red Guards continue to lead China’s Cultural Revolution.

July 13, 1971. Nixon surprises America saying he will visit Peking, China before May of 1972.

February 21, 1972. President Richard M. Nixon makes a historic first trip to Communist China. Of this visit he states that is “the week that changed the world.” He is the first US President to land in Peking since China has become Communist. He and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger are met by Chou En-Lai and visit Chairman Mao Tse-Tung in the Forbidden City.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 2/22/71

June 3, 1989 Chinese troops attack protestors in Tiananmen Square, Beijing — 2600 people were killed and 10,000 injured. See In search of the missing 19 granite timepieces at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 1973 — September 11th, 2001

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Jun 04, 1989

The Timeline series

You’re fired!

The Eisenhower presidency (and nuclear armageddon) at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park

75 years ago when Imperial Japan surrendered and the Timeline at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Highland Park

Talker’s foreign correspondent in Cambodia and the plaques in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Highland Park.

Sports and the ’60’s at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park

Remembering April 4th, 1968 and the Civil Rights Movement at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park

Women (not many) at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Timeline in Highland Park

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester: A Meditation on the Cost of War

In search of the missing 19 granite timepieces at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 1973 – September 11th, 2001

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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