Good News in History, April 5

Good News in History, April 5

Pocahontas402 years ago today, the first interracial marriage was recorded in North America. Pocahontas, the native American daughter of Chief Powhatan, married colonist John Rolfe from the English settlement of Jamestown. Her descendants, through their son Thomas, include members of the First Families of Virginia, First Ladies Edith Wilson and Nancy Reagan, and astronomer Percival Lowell. (1614)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Anne Sullivan taught the word “water” to Helen Keller, who could not see, nor hear, nor speak until this gifted teacher entered her life (1887)
  • The song “We Are the World” was played simultaneously by an estimated 5,000 radio stations around the globe (1985)
  • The trade union Solidarity was granted legal status in Poland (1989)
  • In Japan, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge opened to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world (1998)
  • 115 Chinese coal miners were freed as the world watched, culminating eight days of rescue efforts in a flooded mine, following an accident that already killed 38 (2010)
  • Happy birthday to Colin Powell, who turns 79 years old today (2015)

Easter Island heads-CC-AurbinaAnd, on this day in 1722, “Easter Island” was first discovered and recorded by a European visitor. The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen named it so because he encountered it on Easter Sunday. The large stone statues, or moai, for which Easter Island is famous (click to enlarge the photo), were carved by natives there, between 1100–1680, using solidified volcanic ash found near an extinct volcano. A total of 887 monolithic stone statues have been inventoried, with many having torsos ending at the top of the thighs, although a small number are complete figures that kneel on bent knees with their hands over their stomachs. Each sculpture represented the deceased head of a lineage and required a couple hundred men to relocate it to other parts of the island. Some of the largest weighed 82 tons and were placed upright upon stone platforms facing the ocean. –Photo by Aurbina (CC)