On this day in 1913 – (103 years ago) — at the prestigious Epsom Derby horse race in Great Britain, a women’s suffrage activist named Emily Davison ran out onto the track just as the lead horses were coming around a bend. Spectators noticed that she was holding a long piece of cloth, believed to be a banner bearing the slogan “VOTES FOR WOMEN.” Davison stood quietly as several horses passed — and then stepped directly into the path of a horse owned by King George V. She raised her arms in an apparent attempt to disrupt the race and capture media attention for the cause of women’s suffrage. But the fast-moving horse hit Davison, knocking both her and the jockey to the ground. The horse and the jockey recovered, but Davison died four days later of a broken skull and internal injuries. Another fifteen years would pass before British women were allowed to vote.
On this day in 1974 – (42 years ago) — in Cleveland, a special event called “Ten Cent Beer Night” drew some twenty-five thousand fans to a baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers. An estimated sixty thousand cups of beer were sold, and by the sixth inning, with the Rangers leading 5–3, the drunken crowd was a security nightmare. Hot dogs, bottles, chairs, and firecrackers came raining out of the stands. Dozens of spectators, some of them naked, ran onto the field before being subdued. One woman tackled an umpire and tried to kiss him. A father and son entered the outfield and pulled down their pants to moon the crowd. But in the seventh inning, after Cleveland scored two runs to tie the game, the jovial, drunken mood turned ugly when two Cleveland fans threw a punch at a Rangers outfielder, and the outfielder punched back. It triggered an all-out riot as thousands of people poured onto the field — including players from both teams, armed with baseball bats. The bloody chaos went on for twenty minutes before umpires pulled the plug, and Cleveland was forced to forfeit the game.
On this day in 1989 – (27 years ago) — the Chinese political leadership decided it had finally had enough of the massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where for several weeks, thousands of students and other nonviolent protesters had been occupying the public space, demanding major government reforms and attracting attention from news media around the world. Now, under direct orders from the top, units of the Chinese army began to advance on Beijing from all directions, while troops in and around the city square opened fire on the unarmed crowd. Soldiers fired tear gas as tanks advanced on the protesters, actually running over some of them. People were shot dead not only in the square and on the surrounding streets, but also in nearby apartment buildings as Chinese troops fired into them. By the time the demonstrations were crushed, at least some 250 people — and probably many more — were dead.
Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi