As the birthplace of Taoism, Qingdao has a long history. Human settlement on this soil dates back 6,000 years. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC), the town of Jimo was established, which was then the second largest in the Shandong region. After unifying China in 221 BC, Ying Zheng, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, thrice climbed to the top of Mt. Langyatai in the present city of Jiaonan. Dispatched by Ying Zheng, Xu Fu, an official of the Qing Dynasty, began his voyage with his fleet at the foot of Mt. Langyatai and sailed eastbound to Korea and Japan. Liu Che, an emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD220) held sacrificial rites at the Jiaomen Palace in Mt. Buqi, which is in today’s Chengyang District of Qingdao. He also ordered 9 temples to be constructed in Mt. Nugu along the Jiaozhou Bay, to worship God and his ancestors. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, Qingdao had grown into a prosperous town known then as Jiao’ao.
The establishment of Qingdao began on June 14, 1891, when the Qing government sent in troops. In November 1897, Germany occupied Qingdao by force on the pretext of the Juye Litigation over religious disputes. When the First World War broke out in 1914, Japanese invaders took over Qingdao and continued the colonial rule. In protest against the then Chinese government yielding to Japanese pressure, the famous May 4th Movement was launched in 1919 and protestors demanded the resumption of sovereignty over Qingdao. On December 10, 1922, the Northern Lords government regained control of Qingdao and established a government office for port commercial affairs. In July 1929, Qingdao was granted the status of special city and in 1930 was listed in the rank of cities. In January 1938, the Japanese invaded Qingdao again, but their occupation came to an end in September 1945 when the KMT government regained control of the city. On June 2, 1949, Qingdao was liberated, and in 1986 was designated to exercise special state plans and enjoyed vice-provincial-level economic management rights. In 1994, Qingdao was included in the country’s 15-vice-provincial-level-city list. (qingdaochina.org)