On this day (October 13th) in 1976: 100 people die in the crash of a Bolivian plane in Santa Cruz. The Boeing 707 drove into buildings along the main street in the Bolivian city and the accident killed eventually another 91 people. Later investigations suggested the accident was probably the result of human error.
#OTD in 1976
On this day (October 11h) in 1976: Recently ascended chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Hua Guofeng, ordered the arrest of China’s ‘Gang of Four’. The arrests were taken in some quarters as a clear sign of a change of direction in China’s national political policy following the death, a month before, of former Chairman and founder of Communist China, Mao Zedong. The Gang of Four was led by Mao’s widow, Jian Qing, who, along with n Zhang Chunqiao, Wang Hongwen, and Yao Wenyuan, were strong proponents of the Cultural Revolution instigated by Mao ten years before. The Cultural Revolution was a tumultuous sociopolitical effort with huge consequences for China’s economic and cultural development and for the Chinese people themselves. It was instigated following a period a less-extreme leadership that came after the shortfalls of the Great Leap Forward, which itself had contributed to the Great Chinese Famine around 1959-1961 that cost around 30 million lives. By the end of 1978, Deng Xiaping, a reformer, had largely seized power from Huo Guofeng, though he did not become Premier and take the chair of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – as the CPC is commonly known – until 1982. The Gang of Four received death sentences which were reduced to long imprisonments. Jian Qing was released in 1991 and died shortly thereafter.