The Dalai Lama Escapes from the Chinese

Bettmann / CORBIS

May 28, 1959: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, and his mother, shortly after the Tibetan Buddhist ruler fled his homeland for exile in northern India

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Night had settled upon the roof of the world. With a jingling of harness and the clipclop of hooves, a small caravan wound slowly up the 17,000-ft. pass. Ahead lay the snowy summits of the Himalayas, an ocean of wind-whipped peaks and ranges that have served Tibet as a rampart since time began. Cavalrymen with slung rifles spurred forward; state officials in furs, wearing the dangling turquoise earrings of their rank, sat tiredly in the saddle; rangy muleteers in peaked caps with big earlaps goaded the baggage train up the steep...

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