Day By Day

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Day In History

Today is National Mud Pack Day, so get out there and start slinging and packing.

On this day sixty years ago [the formal date is October 1st, but because we are east of the international dateline we should note it today] the People's Republic of China was established. Under the leadership of Mao Zhedong the PRC became perhaps the most brutal regime in human history. It is estimated that policies instituted under Mao resulted in approximately 70 million excess peacetime deaths. Together with casualties inflicted during the Communist drive to power, Mao was probably responsible for more than 100 million deaths. He was easily the most lethal ruler ever [Stalin and Hitler don't even come close]. Supporters of Mao argue that such extreme measures were necessary to bring about Chinese independence, to restructure the nation's economy, and to establish a regime based on social justice. Others, myself included, would disagree. The reign of terror did not end until Mao's death in 1976.

Compared to that anything else I might note fades into insignificance, although, for the benefit of the movie buffs among you, I should note that today is James Dean's deathday.