November: Mao Zedong prepares the ground for what will be called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution by having the young literary critic Yao Wenyuan attack a play by Beijing's vice mayor, Wu Han, in a Shanghai newspaper; by replacing the director of the Central Committee General Office, Yang Shangkun, with his own trusted lieutenant and chief bodyguard, Wang Dongxing; and by taking steps, together with Lin Biao, toward removing PLA Chief of Staff Luo Ruiqing from his post. Mao leaves Beijing for east China, citing security concerns as one of the reasons for his departure from the capital.
December: Luo Ruiqing is purged at an enlarged Politburo meeting in Shanghai, chaired by Mao. In Beijing, Mayor Peng Zhen (concurrent head of the Party's ad hoc group of five in charge of culture) tries to protect his deputy Wu Han by insisting that any "mistakes" he may have committed are purely academic. Wu Han publishes a self-criticism, and Mao agrees to postpone the passing of a political verdict on him by two months. The Central Propaganda Department restricts media debate to historical and literary matters.____________________