40 years ago today, Spain became a democracy following 40 years of military dictatorship. Under the guidance of King Juan Carlos I, the new Constitution of Spain became law, establishing a social and democratic state that advocates as its highest values liberty, justice, equality and political pluralism. (1978)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Naturalist Charles Darwin left Britain for the Pacific Ocean where, for five years, he would gather the data that would form his theories on Evolution (1831)
  • The Great Poland Uprising against German rule began (1918)
  • Radio City Music Hall in NY City opened (1932)
  • Dutch queen granted sovereignty to Indonesia after 300 years of rule (1949)
  • The United States normalized trade relations with China (2001)
  • Ukraine‘s “orange revolutionaries” celebrated the declared victory for opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko in presidential elections (2004)
  • Indonesia’s Aceh rebels formally abolished their 30-year armed struggle for independence under a peace deal born out of the 2004 tsunami (2005)
  • After decades of repression under military rule, residents in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, got to vote, electing their city councils for the first time in 60 years (2014)

And, on this date, the Hagia Sophia was completed in 537.


The Eastern Orthodox Church of Holy Wisdom is considered one of the great Byzantine buildings. It was converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Turks, and in 1935 to a museum.

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