National Geographic : 1949 Sep
i, James isurKe-urapnic House Picture of Victory-Men, Mules, and a Portrait of the Red Leader, Mao Tze-tung A band blares from the red-bannered truck as Chinese Communist soldiers in thick padded winter uniforms and fur caps march through the broad streets of Peiping driving their pack mules. January in Peiping is sunny but cold. Unlike most Chinese towns, Peiping's main streets are wide. made of paper, and that postriders covered a continent!* Chinese under the first Ming emperor, Hung Wu, drove out these Mongols. Yung Lo, third Ming emperor, transferred China's capital here in 1421. He built its stout walls and palaces for defense, as you can still see. Though he had whipped them in several fights, Yung Lo never forgot that just beyond that 2,000-mile Great Wall, built in the third century B. c., the Mongol horde still lurked, ever ready to renew its raids. Even as in 1949! Peiping, today, is the result of two men's genius and work. Yung Lo conceived and built the majestic, glittering metropolis. And Chien Lung, fourth emperor of the Manchu line, helped decorate it. This contemporary of George Washington reigned sixty years (1736-96) and left the impress of his per sonality everywhere. He cleaned up and enlarged the Temple of Heaven (pages 341, 347, 366), polished up the palaces and adorned them with bronze lions and bronze water containers as a pro tection against fire. How he loved to write bad poetry and have it engraved on stone * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "World's Greatest Overland Explorer (Marco Polo)," by J. R. Hildebrand, November, 1928.