February 28 Massacre

An angry crowd occupies the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau in Taipei
An angry crowd occupies the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau in Taipei

Historical Context

Unspoken about publicly for years, the 28th February is now a national day of remembrance in Taiwan commemorating the brutal repression of an anti-government uprising by the ruling Chinese mainland Kuomintang Party against native Taiwanese. An estimated 28,000 Taiwanese died in 1947 and it began 38 years of martial law now called the White Terror.

The flash point happened on the 27th February when a native Taiwanese woman was hit over the head for selling contraband cigarettes. People around her protested and Tobacco agents fired into the crowd killing one person. The next day crowds gathered around Taipei demanding justice but were met with violence by authorities who had declared martial law by the end of the day.

Photo Info


Location taken: Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Related Events

  • 1947-02-28 February 28 Massacre: Anti-government uprising in Taiwan is violently put down by Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang-led Republic of China government with the loss of 18,000-28,000 lives. Marks the beginning of the White Terror.

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