Since the 17th century, the Dalai Lama has been considered the preeminent spiritual and political leader of Tibet. Most Tibetans didn’t accept China’s rule. So in 1959, when rumors spread that the Chinese government was getting ready to take the Dalai Lama out of his palace in Lhasa and bring him to China, where he could be more easily controlled, there was a major uprising. The Chinese put down the uprising but the Dalai Lama managed to escape. On March 31, 1959, he entered India. Historian John Schmidt recalls what happened.