In an act of nonviolent protest, the man, who to this day remains unidentified, calmly walked in front of the procession of tanks, forcing the lead tank to halt. As the tank tried to move around him, the man repeatedly shifted his position, continuing to block the progress of the tanks and creating a symbolic gesture of opposition that still holds power today.
Photographer Stuart Franklin, a contributing member Magnum, a famous photojournalist and photographer collective, was there, shooting from a balcony at the Beijing Hotel.
The following day, after his roll of film was smuggled out of China in a packet of tea and delivered to the Magnum offices in Paris, the "Tank Man" image appeared on front pages everywhere. Three other photographers also snapped the scene, but Franklin's image is arguably the most iconic, having appeared in Time and Life magazines, and winning him a World Press Award