National Geographic : 1963 Feb
United Nations, a former schoolteacher" (page 154). Rangoon also was getting ahead. I had seen the city in the early months of 1948, shortly after the British turned over control. Barbed wire encircled all the government buildings and homes of the ministers, pro tection against threatening civil strife. Rude huts of thatch and bamboo cluttering the city were crowded with thousands of refu gees from a restive countryside. It was unsafe to venture outside town. The barbed wire has long since gone; so have the bamboo huts. Bombed buildings have been repaired or replaced by new struc tures. And the refugees have returned home or moved to satellite towns, built on former rice lands just north and east of the city. Business has increased. More ships now swing on the swift, muddy tide of the Ran goon River. More produce boats come down 156 Rangoon Traffic Swirls Around Gold-covered Sule Pagoda Rangoon derives from Yangon, "end of strife," a name given to the city by its found er, King Alaungpaya, in 1755, following his victory over the Mons, inhabitants of southern Burma. Most of its buildings rose during 96 years of British occupancy. Many were damaged by bombs during World War II. Small shops encircle the base of Sule Pa goda, axis of the business district. Schoolgirls on the march twirl flower decorated hoops on Independence Day in Rangoon. Communist insurgents and politi cal splinter groups have plagued Burma since it gained freedom on January 4, 1948. The federal republic retains no Common wealth ties with the United Kingdom.