25 years ago today, Lech Walesa took the oath as Poland’s first popularly elected president. Only a decade earlier he had led Polish workers of the Solidarity movement in a two-month strike, demanding–and winning–the right to organize independent labor unions in the communist country. Using the slogan, “I don’t want to, but I’ve got no choice,” he won the country’s first election in 63 years to become the first non-Communist president in nearly a half century. (1990)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The Constituent Assembly of Italy approved its constitution (1947)
- Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the last of Eastern Europe’s hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising (1989)
- Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opened after nearly 30 years reuniting East and West Germany (1989)
- Colombian rebels freed four British and Israeli hostages after 4 months (2003)
- The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the military, was enacted by US President Obama (2010)
On this date in 1958, “Christmas Don’t Be Late,” by The Chipmunks, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and stayed there for four weeks. The song, written and performed by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. (a.k.a. David Seville), also went on to win three Grammy Awards and became the only Christmas song ever to reach #1.
Billboard later segregated holiday songs to their own chart. The single, officially named “The Chipmunk Song,” also is one of the most downloaded digital Christmas songs ever.