Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports are created by recipients of research travel stipends and by many others who have conducted research at the RAC. The reports demonstrate the breadth of the RAC's archival holdings, particularly in the study of philanthropy and its effects. Read more about the history of philanthropy at Also, see the RAC Bibliography of Scholarship, a comprehensive online database of publications citing RAC archival collections.
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The Rockefeller Foundation's China Medical Board and Medical Philanthropy in Wartime China, 1938-1945

January 1, 2009

On July 7, 1937 the Marco Polo Bridge Incident [Lugou Qiao shibian] marked the official beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War, known in China as the War of Resistance against the Japanese [Kangri zhanzheng], and to most others as part of World War II. The incident took place in a suburb of the previous capital Beijing; eleven days later the city surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army. Nonetheless, for the first several years this did not affect the operations of the Peking [Beijing] Union Medical College (PUMC), China's top medical school at the time, which received financial assistance from the Rockefeller Foundation's China Medical Board (CMB) beginning in 1917, and fell under its direct care in September 1921.1 Not until December 8, 1941, did the Japanese Army occupy the College, and the school was officially closed on February 1, 1942.2 It re-opened in 1946 after the war, and was officially handed over to Chinese control in 1951, after the victory of the Chinese Communist Party in the Civil War.

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