[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
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Jun 04, 1989
The Timeline series
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