Twenty-five years ago Wednesday, Chinese troops violently retook the square in Beijing where pro-democracy protesters had set up camp for weeks. The Tiananmen Square massacre left an unknown number dead, with some estimates in the thousands, and smothered a democratic movement. But after a quarter-century—and a thorough attempt by the Chinese government to conceal the events that unfolded that June—our collective memory is sometimes limited to not much more than an image of a man defiantly standing in front of a tank.
So TIME went back in history to pull out the details, context and feelings of those grim days from our own unfolding coverage at the time, including a cover story from the June 12, 1989 issue. The articles give color, detail and context that are sometimes lost 25 years later. Here are five key facts that may have been buried in time:
It wasn’t the only…
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