100 years ago today, Lithuania defied the German empire and declared its Independence, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital. (1918)

(Photo of the capital city at dusk – Diliff, CC)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli harbor to burn the U.S.S. Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates (1804)
  • Gallaudet University (then known as the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind) received its U.S. funding charter as an educational institution, becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf and hard of hearing in the world (1857)
  • The A-note above middle C was standardized to a frequency of 435 Hz, by French law (1859)
  • British Egyptologist Howard Carter unsealed the treasure-filled burial chamber of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun—and later he ensured the artifacts remained in country, in the National Egyptian Museum (1923)
  • Canadians were granted Canadian citizenship, after 80 years of being issuing British passports (1947)
  • The first 911 emergency phone system was instituted by officials in Haleyville, Alabama (1968)
  • The Kyoto Protocol came into force following Russian ratification (2005)

And, on this day in 2005, Musician Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, was awarded substantial damages from The Sunday Times and The Sun, after they had printed articles alleging he was involved in terrorism.


Both newspapers apologized for the “false and highly defamatory allegations,” and paid his legal bills. The 56-year-old musician gave the money to Tsunami relief projects.