FYI August 20, 2018


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On This Day

1519 – Philosopher and general Wang Yangming defeats Zhu Chenhao, ending the Prince of Ning rebellion against the reign of the Ming dynasty’s Zhengde Emperor.
The Prince of Ning rebellion or Rebellion of the Prince of Ning (Chinese: 寧王之亂) was a rebellion that took place in China between 10 July and 20 August 1519 during the Ming dynasty. It was started by Zhu Chenhao, the Prince of Ning and a fifth-generation descendant of Zhu Quan, and was aimed at overthrowing the Zhengde Emperor. The Prince of Ning revolt was one of two princedom rebellions during the Zhengde Emperor’s reign, and was preceded by the Prince of Anhua rebellion in 1510.[1]


The first Prince of Ning, Zhu Quan, was awarded the title for his military service under the Hongwu Emperor and was given the land of Ning, a region north of Beijing.[2] Ning was later moved to Nanchang in Jiangxi by the Yongle Emperor.[3] His fifth generation descendant and fourth Prince of Ning was Zhu Chenhao, a leader known more for his indulgent lifestyle and hedonism than his military prowess.[2]

The Zhengde Emperor was warned of the rumor of Zhu Chenhao’s treason prior to the rebellion. There were reports that Zhu had been gathering an army, when the military power of regional princes had long ago been abolished.[3] Zhu had also been bribing members of the Zhengde Emperor’s cabinet, as part of his plans to usurp the throne. In 1507, he offered the official Liu Jin a large sum of money in exchange for personal bodyguards, a bribe that Liu agreed to but was unable to carry out, once he was executed for plotting against the emperor in September 1510.[2] In 1514, he funded bandits as henchmen, seized land and property, issued taxes, and received bodyguards after successfully bribing the general and Minister of War Lu Wan.[2]

The Zhengde Emperor, who was childless, lacked an heir and Zhu had been pushing for his son to take over as heir apparent. The rumors were ignored by the emperor, who did not respond to the allegations.[3] By the end of 1514, Zhu was so emboldened that he began to refer to himself as emperor and issued his commands as imperial edicts. This too was ignored by the Zhengde Emperor.[2]

On 10 July 1519, Zhu Chenhao initiated the rebellion by announcing that the Zhengde Emperor was not the legitimate successor of the Hongzhi Emperor and had usurped the throne. His army marched north, in an attempt to capture the city Nanjing.[3] On their way to Nanjing, Zhu attacked Anqing on 9 August but failed to capture it.[4] The Neo-Confucian philosopher and general Wang Yangming was sent out to suppress the rebellion and captured the Ning princedom’s capital of Nanchang on 13 August 1519.[4] Zhu’s army was defeated by Wang on 20 August 1519, ending the forty-three days of rebellion, and Zhu was later captured.[3]

Zhu was sentenced to slow slicing, the punishment for treason, but committed suicide on 13 January 1521.[4] The officials and eunuchs who had conspired with Zhu were also sentenced to death.[4] Two years after the revolt, Zhengde died of an illness in 1521 caught after, according to legend, falling off a boat while drunk on a fishing trip.[1]

Born On This Day

1927 – Fred Kavli, Norwegian-American businessman and philanthropist, founded The Kavli Foundation (d. 2013)
Fred Kavli (August 20, 1927 – November 21, 2013) was a Norwegian and naturalized American business leader, inventor, and philanthropist. He was born on a small farm in Eresfjord, Norway. He founded the Kavlico Corporation, located in Moorpark, California. Under his leadership, the company became one of the world’s largest suppliers of sensors for aeronautic, automotive, and industrial applications supplying General Electric and the Ford Motor Company.[1]

In 2000 he established The Kavli Foundation to “advance science for the benefit of humanity and to promote public understanding and support for scientists and their work”.[2] The Foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, and symposia in the scientific fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics. The foundation awards the Kavli Prize in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

He was featured in the media primarily for his philanthropic efforts.[3]




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