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Good InfoGood News on this Day in History - April 27

Good News on this Day in History – April 27

6 years ago today, the Panmunjom Declaration was signed by President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong-un, declaring the intention to end the Korean War (which has never truly ended). Organized under the initiative of then-President Donald Trump, the summit was remarkable, with both leaders stepping across both sides of the border at the DMZ for photographs. In 60 years, no single moment has ever brought the two Koreas closer to a lasting peace. READ more… (2018)

The Koreas summit – Mr. Cheongwadae – Blue House – Public Nuri license

On the summary of the text, it reads in Korean “the two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war in Korea and thus a new era of peace has begun.”

It should have been the last chapter in the painful story of Korean separation, but rogue and hawkish elements in Washington D.C scuppered any immediate progress on implementing the more dramatic articles in the declaration, including discussions on how the Korean Peninsula could denuclearize and de-arm through stepwise disarmament.

However, the declaration was signed and submitted to the UN, and any future leader has the framework to use as a jumping-off point in future talks.

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • First performance of Handel’s Fireworks Music in Green Park, London (1749)
  • Togo gained independence (1960)
  • Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the UK (1961)
  • Baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan broke a 55-year-old MLB record by striking out the 3,509th batter of his career—and the right-handed hurler would go on to accumulate a whopping 5,714 strikeouts, 800 more than the next closest pitcher on the list, Randy Johnson (1983)
  • The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, was established (1992)
  • Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics won entry into the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (1992)
  • Construction began on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, set to be the tallest tower in New York City, on the World Trade Center site (2006)

81 years ago today, Witold Pilecki, a Polish cavalry officer and Nazi resistance leader escaped from Auschwitz after having voluntarily been imprisoned there to gain information about the Holocaust

During World War II, he infiltrated the concentration camp and organized a resistance movement inside that eventually included hundreds of inmates, while secretly drawing up reports detailing German atrocities that were smuggled out to the Western Allies.

After escaping Auschwitz, Pilecki fought in the Warsaw Uprising—and after the communist takeover of Poland he wrote Witold’s Report on the Auschwitz concentration camp, anticipating that he would be killed by Poland’s new rulers, which he was—and his story remaining mostly unknown for several decades.

Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich, wrote in the foreword to a 2012 translation of Pilecki’s report: “When God created the human being, God had in mind that we should all be like Captain Witold Pilecki, and historian Norman Davies added, “If there was an Allied hero who deserved to be remembered and celebrated, this was a person with few peers.” (1943)

159 years ago today, Cornell University of Ithaca New York was chartered. Ezra Cornell, a state senator back in 1865, offered his farm as a land donation in addition to a $500,000 grant to establish the school. Today Cornell has the 11th largest library in the U.S., and is ranked as the 7th finest school in the country by QS.

Cornell University campus “The Gothics” CC 2.0. – sach1tb

The main campus is marked by an irregular layout and eclectic architectural styles, including ornate Collegiate Gothic, Victorian, and Neoclassical buildings, and the more spare international and modernist structures. Several of the university buildings on the National Register of Historic Places include the Andrew Dickson White House, Bailey Hall, Caldwell Hall, the Comstock Hall, Morrill Hall, Rice Hall, Fernow Hall, Wing Hall, Llenroc, and 13 South Avenue (Deke House).

Probably the most famous impact of Cornell in the wider world is its Department of Ornithology. There is no academic institution that produces more research and consumer content about birds, both endemic and those in other countries, than Cornell. The Department has a long history of documenting the intelligence of corvids and cockatoos, and in 2005 they claimed they found the ivory-billed woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in the country that’s also presumed extinct.

Cornell University’s A.D. White Reading Room, containing 30,000 volume collection donated to the university by its co-founder and first president

The Department’s citizen science projects include Project FeederWatch, NestWatch, Celebrate Urban Birds, Birds in Forested Landscapes, CamClickr, and two projects in partnership with the National Audubon Society: eBird, one of the most popular birding apps in the country, and the Great (Global) Backyard Bird Count. (1865)

Happy 65th Birthday to Sheena Easton, the Scottish singer-songwriter whose first two singles Modern Girl and 9 to 5 both entered the UK Top Ten at the same time.

With the Academy Award-nominated James Bond movie theme For Your Eyes Only, she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1982, and went on to win five U.S. Gold albums. (1959)

And, 32 years ago today, Betty Boothroyd, who was born to textile workers, became the first woman—and to date, the only woman—in its 700-year history to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons. SEE her 2001 memoir here. (1992)

Betty Boothroyd autobiography

And 29 years ago today, the first South African general election was held in which black citizens were allowed to vote. It marked the end of a four-year process to abolish apartheid—and the people elected Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner of 28 years, to be president. For a quarter century, the day has been marked annually as a public holiday. (1994)

Frederik de Klerk greets Nelson Mandela in 1992, by World Economic Forum, CC license

Also, 68 years ago today, Rocky Marciano retired as an undefeated boxing champ at age 32, becoming the only person to hold the heavyweight title without a tie or defeat during his entire career.Rocky_Marciano

Born to Italian immigrants in Brockton, Massachusetts, he worked out as a youth on homemade weightlifting equipment at home and dropped out of school in the tenth grade. While in the Army, he won the 1946 Amateur Armed Forces boxing tournament. Known for his relentless fighting style, stamina, and an iron chin, Marciano has been ranked by many boxing historians as one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. His knockout percentage of 87.75 is one of the highest in heavyweight history.

Marciano was the inspiration for the title character Rocky Balboa from Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky film and book series. The character Rocky dreams of becoming like his idol Rocky Marciano and is given a boxing glove necklace made from a cuff link given to him by his trainer Mickey, who had received it from Marciano. (1956)

On this day 214 years ago, Beethoven composed one of his most popular compositions—the famous piano piece, Für Elise.

Undiscovered until 40 years after the composer’s death, the Bagatelle in A Minor is commonly performed by young piano students. Schroeder also played it in the Peanuts TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. LISTEN to the 3-minute masterpiece…  (1810)

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