One of the perks of writing for findingDucinea is that I’m constantly learning about historic events, whether obscure or well known, which I otherwise might have missed. One of my favorite On This Day articles is about the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914, when British and German soldiers put down their weapons in favor of a friendly game of soccer.
The temporary truces were widespread, complete with carols and chocolate cake, and occurred just five months into the War. The years of bitter fighting that followed would not allow for such heartwarming Christmases, but for that one day, all soldiers were comrades in civility.Today’s article detailing “9 Historical Events That Occurred on Christmas Day” includes the Christmas Truce, among other new beginnings, such as the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev, marking the end of the Soviet Union and the birth of new commonwealths.
Controversies are also included in the list of nine, such as Andrew Johnson’s pardoning of Confederate soldiers despite Radical Republicans’ call for harsh punishment. Charlemagne, whose promotion of the arts inspired the Carolingian Renaissance, and the symbolic Stone of Scone, which Scottish nationalist students retrieved from Westminster Abbey, also appear in the list.
Each of the historic events we’ve included in the list is complex and thought provoking. What might have happened, for example, if Romanian revolutionaries hadn’t stormed government headquarters, prompting the arrest and execution of brutal ruler Nicolae Ceausescu? Or, consider what might have become the unraveling of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, had Gen. George Washington not launched the daring attack that broke his army’s string of losses.
We owe it to ourselves to learn from these events, to think carefully about what each one truly means, and to attempt to put ourselves in the shoes of those who suffered or summoned bravery. These are events that should not fade from our collective memory.Sarah Amandolare