5 January 1976

The Khmer Rouge announce that the new Constitution of Democratic Kampuchea is ratified.

Democratic Kampuchea refers to the official name of Cambodia under the leadership of the Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled the country from 1975 to 1979. The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, aimed to establish a radical communist society by transforming Cambodia into an agrarian, classless society. During this period, the Khmer Rouge implemented extreme policies that resulted in widespread atrocities and human rights abuses.

The regime forcibly evacuated urban areas, abolished private property, and targeted perceived political enemies, intellectuals, professionals, and those associated with the previous government. The Khmer Rouge’s brutal policies led to the deaths of an estimated 1.7 to 2 million people through execution, forced labor, starvation, and disease. The infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, formerly a high school turned into a prison and torture center by the Khmer Rouge, stands as a haunting reminder of this dark period in Cambodian history.

The regime came to an end in 1979 when Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge and establishing the People’s Republic of Kampuchea. The atrocities committed during the Democratic Kampuchea era have had a profound and lasting impact on Cambodia’s history and society. The country has undergone significant efforts to heal and rebuild since then, including the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a tribunal to address the crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.

16 June 1976

Soweto uprising: A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa, turns into days of rioting when police open fire on the crowd.

The Soweto uprising, also known as the June 16th Uprising, was a significant event in the history of South Africa and played a pivotal role in the fight against apartheid. It took place on June 16, 1976, in Soweto, a township near Johannesburg.

During the apartheid era, the South African government enforced racial segregation and discrimination, particularly in education. The Bantu Education Act of 1953 was one such law that limited access to quality education for black South African students. It mandated that black schools follow a curriculum designed to prepare them for a life of manual labor rather than providing them with a comprehensive education.

In 1976, students in Soweto decided to protest against the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in their schools. Afrikaans was seen as the language of the oppressor, as it was associated with the white minority government. The students believed that being taught in Afrikaans would further marginalize them and perpetuate the inequalities already present in the education system.

On June 16, thousands of students from various schools gathered for a peaceful march to Orlando Stadium, where they planned to hold a rally. However, the police responded with violence, firing tear gas and live ammunition at the protesters. The students responded by throwing stones and barricading the streets.

Hector Pieterson, a 13-year-old student, was one of the first casualties of the uprising. He was shot and killed by the police, and his image being carried by a fellow student became an iconic symbol of the struggle against apartheid.

The news of the brutal police response and the deaths of young students spread quickly, sparking widespread unrest and protests throughout South Africa. The uprising continued for several days, with clashes between the police and protesters, resulting in more deaths and injuries.

The Soweto uprising marked a turning point in the anti-apartheid struggle. It drew international attention to the oppressive nature of the apartheid regime and led to increased global condemnation and pressure on the South African government. It also inspired a new generation of activists who were determined to fight for freedom and equality.

In the aftermath of the Soweto uprising, the government made some concessions, such as repealing the requirement for Afrikaans as the sole medium of instruction. However, the protests continued, and the struggle against apartheid persisted for many years, eventually leading to the dismantling of the apartheid system in the early 1990s.

The Soweto uprising remains a significant event in South African history, symbolizing the courage and resilience of the youth in the face of injustice. It is commemorated annually on June 16th as Youth Day in South Africa, serving as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equal rights and opportunities.

5 April 1976

In China, the April Fifth Movement leads to the Tiananmen Incident.

The incident was a response to the sudden death of former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader, Zhou Enlai, who was widely respected and admired by the Chinese people. Many people, especially university students, saw his death as a major loss and an opportunity to express their grievances with the current leadership.

On April 5, 1976, thousands of people gathered in Tiananmen Square to mourn Zhou Enlai and express their grievances. The gathering quickly turned into a demonstration against the leadership of the CCP, and participants began to criticize the government and its policies.

The government responded to the demonstration with force, sending in troops and police to disperse the crowds. Many participants were arrested and detained, and some were even killed.

The incident is often seen as a precursor to the larger pro-democracy movement that would take place in the same location almost exactly a decade later, culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989.

The April Fifth Tiananmen Incident is a significant moment in China’s history, representing a turning point in the relationship between the Chinese people and the CCP leadership.

1 April 1976

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple Computer, Inc.

The history of Apple computers dates back to 1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company in Cupertino, California. The first Apple computer, called the Apple I, was sold as a circuit board kit for hobbyists and was not yet a fully assembled personal computer. The following year, Apple released the Apple II, which was the company’s first commercially successful product and the first personal computer to come with color graphics.

In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh, which was the first personal computer to use a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse, making it more user-friendly than previous computers that relied on command-line interfaces. The Macintosh was a hit with consumers and helped to establish Apple as a major player in the computer industry.

However, despite early successes, Apple struggled in the mid to late 1990s due to competition from Microsoft and other PC manufacturers. In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO, and under his leadership, the company underwent a major turnaround. Jobs introduced a series of successful products, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, which helped to make Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Today, Apple is known for its sleek, innovative products, including Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. The company has also expanded into other areas, such as music and video streaming with Apple Music and Apple TV+. Apple is known for its strict control over both its hardware and software, which has helped to ensure a high level of quality and a consistent user experience across its products.