1969 – The Manson Family carries out the Tate murders

“Now is the time for Helter Skelter.”

With those words, Charles Manson initiated one of his most infamous murder sprees: the Tate killings. Manson despatched Charles Watson, along with three other family members, to the house of Terry Melcher. What no one in the family knew is that the Melcher no longer lived there – the house was now being leased by director Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate. Polanski wasn’t home, but Tate, unluckily for her, was.

Tate and three guests were brutally murdered by the Mansonites, each of them stabbed multiple times. The following night, the family committed another set of murders. On August 16, 25 member of the Manson Family, including all the Tate killers and Manson himself, were arrested. It would take several more months for the police to put it all together – it wasn’t until October that they connected the two different murder sites – but in the end, the murderers would all be caught.

Referenced in:

Mister Manson – Klaatu
DI-1-9026 – J. G. Thirlwell
ATWA – System of a Down
Revolution Blues – Neil Young
Manson Clan – Righteous Pigs
Death Valley ’69 – Sonic Youth
Do The Charles Manson – Necro
Lunatic of God’s Creation – Deicide
Charlie Manson’s Birthday – Otis Ball
Charles in Charge – Ian Brady Bunch
Manson Family Feud – Diesel Queens
Bloodbath in Paradise – Ozzy Osbourne
Charlie Manson Blues – The Flaming Lips
SST Superstar Charles Manson – Ultraviolet Eye
Spahn Ranch (Charles Manson) – Church of Misery


1989 – China declares martial law in response to the Tiananmen Square protests

Inspired by, among other things, the fall of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, approximately 100,000 Chinese protestors, many of them students, occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing for several weeks beginning on April 14, 1989.

In what can only be described as a massive over-reaction, the government of the People’s Republic of China declared martial law and sent in tanks and infantry to disperse the protestors. The army was delayed by other protestors, but on June 3, they reached the Square.

What followed has often, and not inaccurately, been labelled a massacre. Due to the government’s highly efficient censorship, an accurate death toll has never been released, and even today the incident officially did not occur. Unofficially, a number that has been variously estimated as between 140 and 7000 people died in the protests, and hundreds more were injured, all in an attempt to win rights that the majority of people reading this blog take for granted.

Referenced in:

China – Joan Baez
Blood Red – Slayer
Tin Omen – Skinny Puppy
Watching TV – Roger Waters
Hypnotize – System of a Down
Seven Days in May – Testament
The Tiananmen Man – Nevermore
We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel
The King of Sunset Town – Marillion
Tiananmen Square – Chumbawumba
Black Boys on Mopeds – Sinéad O’Connor
The Ghost in You – Siouxsie and the Banshees