Illustration of tanks with a person standing in front of them with purple text on a white background
DONNELLY/COLT BUTTONS BOX 188 HAMPTON CT 06247
This button commemorates the events that took place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China on June 4, 1989. Protests were led by Chinese students in the spring of 1989 and exposed deep political splits within the government. China’s political leaders ordered the military to enforce martial law to put an end to the protests. On June 4, troops with assault weapons and tanks attacked unarmed civilians trying to keep the military from entering the square, which students and other protesters were occupying. The exact number of civilian casualties is unknown, but estimated to be between hundreds or even thousands. The illustration on this button specifically depicts the events of the morning after the massacre when an unidentified man, who came to be known as “Tank Man”, blocked the path of a group of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square. The incident was filmed and photographed and seen worldwide, becoming one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.