A wiry man in a white shirt stepped in front of a line of moving tanks near Tiananmen Square and become one of the most famous protesters of the 20th century. The man blocked the path of the tanks, even as they gunned their engines. He climbed onto the first tank, pounded on the hatchet, and appeared to speak to the soldiers inside. When he stepped back down in front of the tank, two men ran into the street and pulled him away. The confrontation became one of the most enduring images of the pro-democracy, anti-corruption protests that swept China that spring and summer. His identity is still a mystery.
He is called simply Tank Man.