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Chinese history

Roses Through Time

Humans have painted roses, written about them, and assigned them symbolic meaning for centuries. But this much-beloved flower predates mankind, and it's a little difficult to track our early relationship with cultivating it.

Zheng He and the Treasure Ships

Zheng He led expeditionary voyages from China in the 15th century. While there are many tall tales about his accomplishments, his actual life was pretty spectacular without them.

China and Japan After the Doolittle Raid

After the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, the punishment that Japanese forces doled out in China for their part in helping the U.S. was brutal and devastating. From terror occupations to biological warfare, many of China's towns were systematically destroyed.

A Brief History of Harmonicas

The deceptively simple harmonica has roots as far back as ancient China, though it really came into its own in Europe in the 1800s.

China's Cultural Revolution: Red Guard and Purges

Mao's plan to once again put China on the path to modernization was the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The first phase was a very aggressive, radical series of purges and arrests that went from 1966 to 1968. Read the show notes here.

The Great Famine

In the wake of the Great Leap Forward, issues with supply and demand, variables of weather and labor and a series of poor decisions resulted in a devastating famine. For three years, China struggled, far removed from the utopia Mao had envisioned. Read the show notes here.

The Great Leap Forward

In the mid-20th century, Chairman Mao Zedong launched an ambitious plan to revolutionize Chinese agriculture and industry, build up the economy and turn China into a communist utopia. Read the show notes here.

Ruth Harkness and the First Panda in the U.S.

In the 1930s a New York socialite had a dream. She wanted to be the first person to capture a panda from Asia and return to the western world with it. Her quest had a significant impact on the way the Western world viewed wild animals. Read the show notes here.

China's Foot Binding Tradition

Foot binding was practiced in China for more than 1,000 years -- far longer than can be attributed to a mere cultural or fashion fad. Why did such an extreme type of body modification become such an ingrained part of the culture for so long? Read the show notes here.

Boxer Rebellion

"It was a culture clash of epic proportions. The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising, was a gruesome, violent slaughter of Chinese Christians and foreigners - followed by a gruesome, violent slaughter of the Boxers. "