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Tian'anmen Square

On a sunny day, umbrellas are put up to provide some shade for visitors.

Mao Zedong died September 9, 1976. The government immediately began to make plans to honor him. The mausoleum was completed on May 24, 1977. The cost of the mausoleum was greater than that of the People's Hall because they expended great effort to create a national moment. They had thousands of volunteers bused in from all over China who basically moved bricks around. Materials from every province were included in the design; even water was brought in from the Taiwan Strait. The event was political. It served to legitimize the government and distract attention until things could stabilize. The death of a leader who held such a grip on the minds and devotion of his followers could have been a new moment of protest and revolution.

China Index >> History of Beijing in Pictures >> Tian'anmen

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Last update: January 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2009