This Day in History: 'Learn from Lei Feng Day' Campaign Begins

By That's, March 5, 2018

0 0

On March 5, 1963, Chairman Mao initiated the ‘Follow the examples of Comrade Lei Feng’ propaganda campaign. 

Born in Wangcheng, Hunan Province in 1940 and orphaned at an early age, a quick read of Lei Feng’s Diary will tell you that his was a life devoted to the socialist cause, filled with the revolutionary will to work arduously for self-improvement and the heroic spirit of being ready to take up cudgels for a just cause without care for his own safety. Sadly, that life was cut tragically short – Lei died in 1962 at the age of just 21 when, as a member of a transportation unit of the PLA, a telephone pole, struck by an army truck, struck him.

According to his official biography, that is. Some are cynical about the official details of Lei’s life, and believe his diaries to have been doctored. The propaganda campaign began at a time when the Chinese economy was recovering from the Great Leap Forward, the failure of which had seen Mao’s image suffer. Skeptics have noted, for instance, that the campaign presented a collection of 12 exceptionally high-quality photographs of Lei performing good deeds while he was supposedly just an unknown young man engaging in mundane tasks.

This Day in History: 'Learn from Lei Feng Day' Campaign Begins

Yet while Lei’s prominence in school textbooks has declined over the years, he remains part of the national curriculum, with March 5 annual ‘Learn from Lei Feng Day,’ marked by various community-minded actions, such as cleaning up schools, parks and other public spaces.

PHOTOS: Lei Feng's Biggest Fan Gets Plastic Surgery to Look Like PLA Poster Boy


For more This Day in History stories, click here.

more news

This Day in History: Queen Elizabeth II Visits China

Joined by gaffe-prone 'Great Wally of China' Prince Philip...

This Day In History: Mao Coins Communist Slogan Serve the People

'Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather...'

This Day In History: Small Sword Society Take Shanghai

Never underestimate an emaciated, opium smoking Cantonese ex-sugar broker...

This Day In History: Death of the Dogmeat General

The day warlord Zhang Zongchang found out that it's a dog eat dog world.

The KMT Veterans of China on The Wrong Side of History

'I only wish to be treated fairly. I fought against the Japanese, why on earth did I become a war criminal?'

This Week In History: Central China Floods of 1931

The deadliest natural disaster ever recorded.

This Day in History: The Founding of Shanghai's Good 8th Company

The 8th Company of Shanghai Garrison, People's Liberation Army was founded on August 6, 1947, and since 1949 it has been stationed on Nanjing Lu.

This Day In History: Korean War's Operation Big Switch

The repatriation of remaining prisoners from both sides of the Korean War came with a few surprises.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.