Photos: 78th anniversary of Lugou bridge (Marco Polo bridge) incident

Seventy-eight years ago, on July 7, 1937, Japanese troops stationed near the bridge (also known as Marco Polo bridge) demanded entry to nearby Wanping County on the pretext of searching for a missing soldier. The Chinese military rejected the order and the Japanese bombed the county seat and bridge. The attack signaled the beginning of Japan’s full-scale invasion of China. View photos of the bridge then and now.

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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Wanping City, the site of the old photo in the picture, near the Lugou Bridge in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Wanping City, the site of the old photo in the picture, near the Lugou Bridge in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Lugou Bridge, the site of the old photo in the picture, in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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Photo taken on July 5, 2015 shows the Wanping City, the site of the old photo in the picture, near the Lugou Bridge in Beijing, capital of China. A journalist visited the sites of some old photos about the July 7 Incident. The July 7 Incident, or the Lugouqiao Incident, in 1937 marked the beginning of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, which lasted eight years.(Xinhua/Liu Jinhai)
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A party member arranges a flower basket at Lugou Bridge, July 7, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows visitors reading a sign with information about the start of the Sino-Japanese war, in a neighborhood near the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows visitors walking across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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People visit Lugou Bridge, July 5, 2015. (Photo/Imagine China)
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Students from No 1 and No 2 Lugou Bridge Primary School honor anti-Japanese heroics at the memorial sculpture garden of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Beijing’s Fengtai district, Sept 1, 2014. (Photo/Xinhua)
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man walking across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man standing beside the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao (R) before a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man riding across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, after a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows visitors viewing the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao (R), after a rainstorm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man riding across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, after a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows a man riding across the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao, after a rain storm in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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File photo shows Chinese soldiers’ fight against the Japanese army on July 7, 1937 at Lugou Bridge. (Photo/Xinhua)
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This photo taken on July 1, 2015 shows stone lions on the Marco Polo Bridge, or Lugouqiao in west Beijing. The bridge was the scene of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese troops on July 7, 1937 that served as a pretext for Tokyo's forces to seize Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese war. China will mark the 78th anniversary of the start of the war with Japan on July 7. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
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Lugou Bridge in Beijing, June 12, 2015. On the night of July 7, 1937, Japanese troops stationed near Lugou Bridge in the southwest of Beijing demanded entry to nearby Wanping county on the pretext of searching for a missing soldier. The Chinese military rejected the order and the Japanese bombed the county seat and Lugou Bridge. Historians agree that the attack signaled the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China, though Japan had invaded the Northeast in September 1931. Tuesday marks the 78th anniversary of the beginning of China's eight-year War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. (Photo/Xinhua)