Good News in History, May 30

80 years ago today, Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climbed up the the ruins of the Acropolis in Athens, tore down the Nazi swastika, and replaced it with the Greek flag. The resistance fighting duo suffered torture and imprisonment for their stunt, but they inspired Greeks, and all subjected people everywhere, to work against the occupation, and became international anti-Nazi heroes.

nazi flag on Acropolis_Athens-1941-Bundesarchiv

Even in his 80s, Manolis Glezos was still participating in protest demonstration in Athens, getting sprayed with tear gas and arrested. As an MP of the Coalition of Radical Left in 2014, he was elected to the European Parliament with over 430,000 votes, more than any other candidate in Greece. At age 91, he was also the oldest person elected to the European Parliament.Manolis_Glezos_2007-cc-Michalis Famelis

Apostolos Santas managed to escape from prison in 1948 and flee to Italy, and later Canada, where he was granted political asylum. In 1962 he returned to Greece, where he spent the rest of his life until his death in 2011 at age 89. (1941)

– Photos by German archives, Acropolis in Athens 1941; and Manolis Glezos by Michalis Famelis, CC license

MORE Good News on this Day in History:

  • Memorial Day was officially first observed in the U.S. when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery across the river from Washington, D.C. (1868)
  • Albania became an independent nation with the signing of the Treaty of London (1913)
  • The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. (1922)
  • Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles began his streak playing in the first of a record 2,632 consecutive major league baseball games (1982)
  • Spain became the 16th member of NATO (1982)
  • A 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators in China (1989)
  • Germany announced plans to abandon nuclear power over the next 11 years, outlining an ambitious strategy to replace it with renewable energy sources in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster (2011)
  • Viswanathan Anand, at 43, won his fifth World Chess Championship and, for the fourth year in a row, brought home the crown to India, the birthplace of chess—and the only place where a celebrity player gets mobbed in the streets (2012)
By Rich Mitchell, CC license

And 142 years ago today, Madison Square Garden first opened as an arena in New York City. Seating 10,000 spectators, the iconic venue back then hosted the National Horse Show, P.T. Barnum acts, various boxing matches, and even an oval bicycle racing track with banked curves. The Garden, which is now home to the New York Rangers and Knicks, eventually moved out of this original location at East 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. (1879)

And on this day in 1908, Mel Blanc was born—the voice of so many renown cartoon characters of the 20th century, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, and the Tasmanian Devil. WATCH him perform all the voices on David Letterman…


And, Happy 41st Birthday to footballer Steven Gerrard who became English royalty with his stellar career playing midfield for Liverpool, as club captain, and leading the England national team. One of the greatest midfielders of his generation, and of all time, Gerrard was awarded the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award in 2005. Through his 17 seasons at Anfield, the versatile player known for his leadership became the only footballer ever to score in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a UEFA Champions League Final, winning on each occasion.

Photos by Mr. Phillip Chambers and Эдгар-Брещанов (2018)

In 2005, Gerrard led Liverpool to a historic fifth European title, being named Man of the Match as Liverpool came from 3–0 down to defeat Milan in what became known as the Miracle of Istanbul. The following year, Gerrard starred in the 2006 FA Cup Final, which has been called The Gerrard Final. Both finals have since become widely regarded as amongst the greatest in the history of each competition. He joined the LA Galaxy club in 2015 before his retirement in 2016, during which he wrote a memoir, My Story.

Gerrard later became a coach in the Liverpool youth academy and managed their under-18 team, before becoming manager of Scottish Premiership club Rangers in 2018. WATCH some of his famous moves… (1980)


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