Good News in History, March 25

Today is the bicentennial anniversary of the Greek Uprising, celebrated by Greeks around the world as Independence Day.

The revolt was launched 200 years ago today against the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled over Greece for 300 years. The symbolic launch was the moment Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution—the banner and the cross—over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese peninsula.

Under the battle cry “Freedom or death”, they won the revolution eight years later—thanks to the naval assistance from France, Russia, and Great Britain, and artists like the poet Lord Byron promoting the struggle. The Treaty of Edirne was signed in 1879 establishing an independent Greek state.

greek indepence costume

The public holiday includes parades throughout the country with people wearing traditional Greek clothing, and military flyovers in Athens. (1821)

–Top Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis, CC license

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The British Parliament abolished the slave trade (1807)
  • 125 years ago today, the modern Olympics began in Athens, Greece (1896)
  • 97 percent of all Dutch physicians went on strike against Nazi registration (1943)
  • While still in his twenties, Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala. (1965)
  • John & Yoko staged first bed-in for peace in Amsterdam (1969)
  • Wiki Wiki Web, the world’s first wiki was made public by Ward Cunningham in Portland, Oregon (1995)
  • The Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation gave $1 million to put food in backpacks for poor children to take home from school throughout America (2014)
  • Notable Birthday: Gloria Steinem, 87 (1934)

And, 12 years ago today, 13 Palestinian girls and boys from a West Bank refugee camp traveled with their musical director to Israel to perform for elderly Holocaust survivors.

violin and player-BW-padesucre-Flickr-CC
Photo by padesucre, CC

Most of the audience at the Holocaust Survivors Center did not know the youths were Palestinians from such a rough area until it was announced. Amidst gasps, the orchestra began to play songs for peace, and the audience broke out in applause.  The event was part of “Good Deeds Day,” an annual event at the Center. (2009)

And, 77 years ago today, a Royal Air Force sergeant survived a jump from 18,000 feet without a parachute. The 21-year-old WWII gunner decided when his Lancaster bomber was on fire, it was better to jump than burn. His fall was broken by pine trees and soft snow and he suffered only a sprained leg.

WWII bomber German plane side-by-side
Royal Air Force photo of a tail gunner, Sergeant J Morgan

Nicholas Stephen Alkemade was subsequently captured and interviewed by the German Gestapo, who were initially suspicious of his claim to have fallen without a parachute until the wreckage of the aircraft was examined. He was a celebrated prisoner of war, before being repatriated in May 1945. Reportedly, the Germans gave Alkemade a certificate testifying to the fact, according to Guy Murchie, in The World Aloft. (1944)

Happy Birthday to Sir Elton John, who turns 74 years old today. Growing up in London, the singer-songwriter learned to play piano at age three. In his 5-decade career, Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling musical artists in the world.

By Eva Rinaldi, CC license

He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, such as Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer, and Bennie and the Jets, and seven consecutive No. 1 US albums. His tribute single, re-penned in dedication to the late Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997” sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts. WATCH a 70th birthday video tribute… (1947)

 

Happy 56th Birthday to Sarah Jessica Parker, the producer and actress who portrayed Carrie Bradshaw—one of the greatest TV girlfriends in history—on the HBO hit series Sex and the City. Over six seasons, her performances won her two Emmys, four Golden Globes, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Miami Film Festival

Parker made her Broadway debut at age 11, and three years later was starring in the title role of the musical Annie. She returned to the stage in early 2020 starring with her husband Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite. After COVID-19 caused the closing of the theater, she posted a hopeful message on Instagram.

“Broadway doesn’t stay quiet for long. We will be back. The Rialto will hum. Times Square will hustle and bustle. . . We count the days until the marquees are once again lit.”

The fashionista continues to work in television (Divorce)—and in films such as The First Wives Club, The Family Stone, and Failure to Launch. Yet she is also a fashion designer (SJP shoes and handbags), and she owns a production company called Pretty Matches. WATCH a Plaza Suite interview with the couple… (1965)

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