The Chronicle of Events in Changshu (1856-1936)

From “The Annals of Changshu”, 1990 edition, I selected what I consider to be particularly important events. I now list them below together with events concerning the Zhang Family and some great events at the national level:-

1856             Weng Tonghe, of Changshu, was awarde the rank of Zhuangyuan.

1858             Zhang Zhi was born.

The Christian church set up a branch in Changshu.

1864             The Taiping movement came to the end.

1867             Zhang Hong , younger brother of Zhang Zhi, was born.

1870            Repair work on the Confucius Temple (damaged in the Taiping).

1871            Permission received from the Emperor for the Zhang Family to build a                                   memorial gateway for its charitable work.

1872             Mother of Yu Mengying, was born in Zhujiajiao.

1889             Zhang Yuhe was born.

1892             Yu Mengying  was born in Suzhou.

1895              China was disastrously defeated in the 1894-95 war with Japan.

1897             The scholar gentry of Changshu set up The China West Society.

1898             The “100-day Reform” ended in failure. Weng Tonghe was expelled from the                      court back to Changshu.

1900             Shen Peng, a native of Changshu at the court, petitioned for restoring the                              Emperor and punishing the “Three Evils”. He was jailed.

The 8-power army invaded Beijing, and the Empress Dowager fled to Xi’an.

Steamships began services  between Changshu and neighboring cities.

1901            Telegram service inaugurated in Changshu.

1903            Pang Hongwen was appointed to be in charge of updating the official History                       of Changshu.

1904           Zhang Hong passed the national level examination  and was awarded the                            Jinshi rank.

“Changshu Women’s World Society” and its journal  inaugurated.

The first modern cotton spinning mill started operation.

1905             The thousand-year old examination system was officially terminated.

The Zhang Family ‘s Xiaoyou foundation set up modern school.

1907              Zhang Hong passed the entrance examination  and entered the foreign                               ministry, and was posted to Japan and Korea as the consul in Kobe,                                   Nagasaki, and Inchon. His nephew Yuhe followed him to Japan for studies.

1908               Zhang Yuhe returned to Changshu to wed Pang

1909                Yuhe’s first wife Pang died.

1911                Zhang Yuhe,22, wed Yu Mingying, 19.

Xin Hai Revolution broke out. Qing rule came to the end.

1912                The new government banned men from keeping pigtails

1913                 Zhang Zhi died.

Changshu Electric Light Factory was built and started producing electricity                           on January 15, 1915.

1914                  Yu Mengying gave birth to her first child , daughter Zhang Zhen.

1915                  County library opened its doors.

1916                  Zhang Hong retired from the foreign service and returned to Changshu.

Yu Mengying gave birth to her second child, boy Zhang YaoZhang.

Newspaper “Changshu Daily” inaugurated.

The government banned foot binding and the study of Confucian classics.

1917                   The first movie house opened for business.

Cai Yuanpei appointed president of Peking University.

1918                    The Zhang Family”s Xiaoyou Foundation granted funds for the purchase                               of land within the city walls and build a new school.

1919                    Students demonstrated support for the May 4th Movement.

Xiaoyou  School moved into its new premises.

1920                    The first women’s hospital opened.

1921                     Xiao School started junior school.,

1922                     Local investors formed the first commercial bank.

The Christian church opened its hospital.

1923                     Scandal in the Parliament in Beijing. Members of Parliament from                                         Changshu refused bribe and returned home.

Zhang Yuhe died. Yu Mengying was 31.

1924                    Provincial warlords fought a war. Changshu forced to pay a huge                                         ransom.

1931                   The Mukden Incident. Japanese army occupied China’s Mancuria.

1934                    Zhang Yaozhang admitted to the Central University in Nanjing.

1935                    The highways connecting Shanghai, Changshu, Suzhou, and Wuxi were                                completed.

1936                      Zhang Yaozhang, 20, weds Li Jingfang, 19. Yu Mengying was 44.

Zhang Hong

Xiaoyou School

The GOlden List of 1904

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