Missimo dead at 105 - end of the peanut head era

Madame Chiang Kai-shek aka Soong Mei-ling finally passed away at the ripe old age of 105. Here’s a notice. I’m sure it will make the Chinese news especially since she was a Shanghaiese and her sister was the patron saint of the communist party.

Man does that spell the end of an era of Chinese history. FOr the curious, “Missimo” was a moniker that Henry Luce gave her since hubby Chiang Kai-shek was known to most Americans in the WW2 era as the “Generalissimo.” She was a robo babe and filthy rich, so I can see why ol Henry was such an ardent supporter.

She left Taiwan pretty much into exile after ol’ peanut head aka Generalissimo passed on in 1972. Peanut Head was affectionately bestowed on the thug by none other than General George Stillwell. Check out the poem “I laid the peanut low” in Joe Stillwell and the American Experience in China. I was in Taiwan in the 1980’s when Mei-ling returned and harped on and on about confucian values and how Chinese women were all virtuous virgins (talk about out of touch :wink: ).

The big quote: One loved money, one loved power, and one loved her country. Soong Ching-ling married Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Chinese Republic while her sister Mei-ling married Sun’s successor, the famed Chian Kai-shek. The oldest daughter Ai-ling married industrialist H.H. Kung, a wealthy and powerful man who eventually became Hong Kong’s finance minister.

There is a Seagrave book called the Soong Sisters and then a movie made in 1997, which I’ve never seen.

Anyhoo, I figured she deserves a thread. I couldn’t decide if she was Cafe Society material, MPSIMS or IMHO, regardless it ended up here.

I was amazed to find out she was (until recently) still alive. She was one of those people I would have figured died a long time ago.

Yeah, me too. We studied the Chinese revolutions and the World Wars period in grade ten, just after Mao died, but even then I remember thinking that she was, er, ancient history. Of course, to a 13-year-old, anyone over 40 is ancient… :slight_smile:

And remember, October 31st is good ol’ Peanut’s birthday! One of the best costumes I’ve ever seen.

George Stilwell?

Sorry, carry on.

MPSIMS. :wink:

I have this image of my father, dead these nearly 40 years, sitting at the kitchen table shouting at the radio “unleash Chian Kai-shek.” The old man fervently believed that all the nation’s problems would be solved if President Eisenhower would only allow the Nationalist Chinese to invade the mainland. He had a lot of funny ideas.

Like others, I had assumed that Madam Chian Kai-shek was long since dead. Not dead, I guess, just irrelevant.

“Peanut head” and “Missimo” - that’s funny. I’d never heard them before.

HH Kung was the ROC’s Finance Minister, according to a quick Google search. Our first non-British financial secretary was Donald Tsang, starting approx mid 90s, followed by 2 others, neither Kungs (nor of course old enough to have married one of the Soong sisters).

Missimo was part of the Henry Luce publicity campaign. I’ve seen some of the Time issues using that in big bold headlines.

Peanut head definately was popularized by Stilwell. When I lived in Taiwan in the 1980’s, we used to call Chiang Chingkuo “butthead” in the same vein.