On this day in 1965, the socialist government under Gen. Ne Win nationalized nearly 130 schools in Myanmar, sending its once proud education system into a long decline.
On this day in 1989, the then-military government changed the names of 165 streets in Yangon, dropping their English colonial names in favor of Burmese language replacements.
On this day in 1986, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn made her first visit to Myanmar at the invitation of dictator General Ne Win.
On this day in 1945, British forces bombed Mandalay Palace, the last home of Myanmar’s kings, reducing it to rubble as Japanese troops put up fierce resistance.
On this day in 1884, the first steam tram took to the streets of Yangon, covering passengers in soot and embers, and ushering in a new era of modern transport in Myanmar.
On this day in 1963, the military regime nationalized 31 domestic and international banks, including HSBC and Chartered.
On this day in 1957, education reformer U Kaung died in a car crash in India. He initiated free education, expanded the school curriculum and promoted foreign study.
On this day in 1953, Myanmar lost the prominent and pioneering cartoonist U Ba Gyan, author of scathing political cartoons and creator of Myanmar’s first animated movie.
In 1981, dictator Gen. Ne Win awarded the British MP Arthur Bottomley the prestigious Aung San Tagun title in recognition of his work on the 1947 Panglong Agreement.
On this day in 1958, Vietnam’s communist leader Ho Chi Minh arrived in Myanmar for a goodwill visit, bolstering bilateral ties between the two nations.
On this day in 1939, colonial troops in British Burma launched their deadliest crackdown on anti-colonial protestors when they fired on unarmed crowds in Mandalay, killing 17.
On this day in 1943, the Japanese government occupying Myanmar began publishing the country’s only English newspaper at the time, the heavily propagandist Greater Asia.
On this day in 1956, legendary Swedish UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld visited Yangon on the first of two visits.
On this day in 1960, the 86-year-old British author W. Somerset Maugham visited Yangon to recount stories of his 1923 exploration of the country during colonial rule.
On this day in 1946, U Saw, leader of British Burma, came home after spending World War II in a British prison in Uganda for saying he would support Japan if it invaded Burma.