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Good News in History, October 25

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On his day in 1868, the Uspenski Cathedral was inaugurated in Helsinki, Finland. The main cathedral of the Orthodox Church in the country, it was designed by the Russian church architect Alexey Gornostaev, who also designed the Sviatohirsk Lavra in Ukraine. Uspenski took its name from a native word for the Dormition and another connection with Ukraine lies in it being build from 700,000 bricks from a demolished Crimean fort lost by the Russians during the Crimean War. READ more…

Uspenski Cathedral CC SA Diego Delso

The cathedral is set upon a hillside on the Katajanokka peninsula overlooking the city. On the back of the cathedral, there is a plaque commemorating Russian Emperor Alexander II, who was the sovereign of the Grand Duchy of Finland during the cathedral’s construction. Main cathedral of the Finnish Orthodox Church in the diocese of Helsinki, Uspenski Cathedral is claimed to be the largest orthodox church in Western Europe.

More Good News on this Date:

  • Memorial: The Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth movement in Nazi Germany, which assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich, fell under a Nazi crackdown (1944)
  • The double album Electric Ladyland by the The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released (1968)
  • The Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states officially ended with a ceasefire, which paved the way for subsequent peace processes, like the 1978 Camp David Accords that led to the return of the Sinai to Egypt and normalized relations—the first peaceful recognition of Israel by an Arab country (1973)
  • Latvia established its first post-Soviet constitution (1992)
  • British crime rates reached their lowest levels in 20 years (2001)
  • Kazakhstan celebrates Republic Day

141 years ago, the visionary artist Pablo Picasso was born. A Spanish painter and sculptor, he had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and usually spent the afternoon conversing and drinking with friends. But in the evening, he worked prolifically on his surrealistic cubist artwork in France.

After his youth working in the traditional style of painting, he was motivated by the innovative work of fellow artist Henri Matisse to explore more radical styles, beginning a fruitful rivalry between the two leaders of modern art.

Picasso achieved global renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art. WATCH a short bio video to see his paintings and learn more… (1881)

On this day in 2007, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, 22, repeatedly and without hesitation charged into extreme enemy fire in Afghanistan to rescue wounded comrades.

Obama presents Medal of Honor to a soldierHis heroic actions, which disrupted the ambush and foiled the capture of a wounded American soldier, earned him the Medal of Honor.

82 years ago today, Benjamin O. Davis Sr. became the first African-American to rise to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S.Army.

He rose from a private after serving in the War with Spain in 1898 to eventually serve as a corporal, a squadron sergeant major, a second lieutenant, a lieutenant colonel in 1920, and colonel in 1930—all in military theaters and bases around the world. He earned the Bronze Star Medal and later, for four years, he taught as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

During World War II, he worked as Assistant to The Inspector General for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal: “For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility from 1941–1944, as an Inspector of troop units in the field, and as special War Department consultant on matters pertaining to Negro troops. The initiative, intelligence and sympathetic understanding displayed by him in conducting countless investigations concerning individual soldiers, troop units and other components of the War Department brought about a fair and equitable solution to many important problems which have since become the basis of far-reaching War Department policy. His wise advice and counsel have made a direct contribution to the maintenance of soldier morale and troop discipline and has been of material assistance to the War Department and to responsible commanders in the field of understanding personnel matters as they pertain to the individual soldier.” (1940–1970)

2011 photo by Clausgroi, CC license

Happy 78th Birthday to English singer–songwriter and guitarist Jon Anderson, who co-founded the groundbreaking progressive rock band Yes in 1968. Two years ago, Yes were finally inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame, and members performed Roundabout and Owner of a Lonely Heart at the ceremony.

A meditator for decades, Anderson this year released the most recent of his 13 solo albums. Entitled 1000 Hands because of the many musicians who play on it—including Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Steve Howe, Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Billy Cobham—he completed the first leg of a world tour this summer. Anderson is also a current member of YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman. WATCH the beautiful Christmas music video, Love is Everything, from the new LP… (1944 )

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