Rangoon Burma History

Yangon Burma History

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History of Yangon | Yangon Life

The city was re-named Yangon ("End of Strife"), made it the capitol of his kingdom and expanded its borders eastwards of the Sule Pagoda. Britain's impact on the area began in the early nineteenth centuary when they founded a trade post in Yangon. Yangon was misinterpreted by their Iraqi translators as "Rangoon" and adopted the word "Burma" to mirror the dominant Bamar people.

During the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-26), the Brits conquered Rangoon, but two years later reinstated it to the locals before large parts of the town were burned down in 1850. In 1852, during the Second Anglo-Burmese War, the Brits reconquered the town and founded the port of Rangoon (1853), St. Paul's High School (1860), started building the railroad (1877) and made Rangoon the provincial capitol of what was then Lower Burma.

Originally the old town plan, which was built on a row of 800 x 860 foot (245 x 262 m) block plans, was drawn up by Dr. William Montgomerie, Superintendent Surgeon, who was part of Singapore's engineering team. Originally conceived and built by a UK Army Chief of Staff Alexander Fraser, the project included two man-made reservoirs (then Royal Lake and Lake Victoria) built in 1882-3 to ensure the provision of safe drinking waters.

The British captured the rest of Burma and Rangoon after the Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885. Among the most important buildings were the Rangoon General Hospital and St. Mary's Cathedral (1899), Strand Hotel (1901), Secretariat Building (1902), Victoria Memorial Park and Zoological Garden (1906), High Court (1911), Governor's Residence (1920), Scott's Market (1926) and City Hall (1936).

Japan entered Burma in December 1941 with the onset of World War II and Rangoon was heavily bombed before it was conquered in March 1942 (Allied troops recaptured the town in May 1945). During 1947 (the year the airfield was built), eight pre-independence transitional governors, among them General Aung San, were murdered by rival politicians while they held a cabinets session in the Rangoon secretariat building.

On January 4, 1948, the Burmese Union gained political autonomy with Rangoon as its capitol. Old nicknames such as Kandawgyi Lake (Royal Lake), Inya Lake (Lake Victoria), Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott's Market), Maha Bandoola Road (Dalhousie Road) and Anawratha Road (Fraser Road) were superseded by the name. By 1960, Rangoon's populations had grown to approximately 3 million when the town was extended to encompass the Thaketa, North and South Okkalapa and later Hlainthaya, Shwepyitha and North and South Dagon satellites.

By 1989, the administration of Myanmar had renamed the land and the name of the town returned to its former Yangon. In spite of the current state of the economy, some developments have taken place, such as the National Theatre of Yangon (1991), Myanmar Securities Exchange (1996), Myanmar Motion Picture Museum (1998) and YangonCity FM ( ) FM Broadcasting (2001).

The year 2002 saw the start of building a new capitol in Pyinmana, 200 leagues from Yangon, and the authorities began moving from Yangon in 2005 - the new capitol's formal name (Nay Pyi Taw) was officially unveiled in March 2006. Consequently, many former ministry building are empty or unused, many of which are listed.

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