Good News in History, August 5

77 years ago today, Plaid Cymru or the Party of Wales, was founded with the aim of supporting Welsh culture in government as the progress of the 20th century led to fears that the Welsh language would become an extinct language. From the beginning, Plaid Cymru was stuck between Labor, the Liberals and the Tories, arguing that the greatest share possible of Welsh rule should be reserved for Welsh people. From there they have steadily grown in support to be able to contest, eventually win elections. READ More…

Plaid Cymru founded it’s support in the 1930s on the idea that Welsh should be the official language of Wales. During World War II they took the position of neutrality, and encouraged consciousness objection to military service. In the 1970 General Election, they contested every seat for the first time, and their share of the vote 4.5% in 1966 to 11.5%. By 1974 Plaid Cymru had 3 members of parliament.

In the National Assembly election of 3 May 2007, Plaid Cymru increased its number of seats from 12 to 15, and got the first ethnic minority ever elected to Welsh Assembly by way of a total vote share of 22%.

As Scotland prepares for another referendum on Independence, Wales may not be far behind, as Plaid Cymru set up a commission in 2020 to study how an independence movement would be carried out.

Many Americans understand the struggles which Scotland and Ireland have gone through trying to free themselves of English rule, from movies, songs, and other pop culture aspects. However many don’t understand that the first land which the English crown conquered was Wales, which has had its fair share of rebellion and heartbreak trying to preserve itself as a separate cultural entity.

MORE Good News on this Day:

The Statue of Liberty‘s cornerstone was laid on Bedloe’s Island, New York Harbor to begin the assembly and ascension of the gift to the US from the people of France (1884)
The Nuclear test ban treaty was signed by the United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union, which banned testing in the atmosphere, space and underwater (1963)
Guitarist Joan Jett and drummer Sandy West formed the first all-girl hard rock band, and later released a debut album as The Runaways, scoring a hit with Cherry Bomb (1975)
The first trading card game went on sale, Magic: The Gathering, created by Richard Garfield, which continues to thrive today with millions of players worldwide and over twenty billion Magic cards produced in the period of 2008–2016 alone (1993)
The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court as the fourth woman justice in its history (2010)
Uruguay began allowing all of its citizens to marry, including same-sex couples, becoming the second Latin American country to do so, after Argentina (2013)

Happy Birthday to ‘Marcia Brady’—Maureen McCormick—who turns 66 today. The California blonde is best known as the eldest daughter from the TV sitcom The Brady Bunch, which first aired over five decades ago.

Maureen McCormick in 2021 (top, right) by Discovery / HGTV

Since the Brady years, McCormick and her husband of 36 years started a family. She also starred and sang in stage roles, like Wendy in Peter Pan and Betty Rizzo in Grease. She also published an autobiography, Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, which debuted at #4 on The NY Times bestseller list.

This year, HGTV launched 10 episodes of McCormick co-starring with interior designer Dan Vickery in a home renovation program called Frozen in Time, giving major facelifts to homes that are stuck in outdated eras. WATCH the trailer… (1956)

And, on this day in 1957, American Bandstand, a show dedicated to the teenage “baby-boomer” generation, which featured the songs,  popular dances and fashions of the time, debuted on ABC-TV. WATCH Dick Clark interview The Beatles.

402 years ago today, the Mayflower sailed for the first time from England with Puritans headed to the ‘New World’. Known today as the Pilgrims, they wanted to escape religious persecution and worship freely. They eventually reached North America, dropping anchor near the tip of Cape Cod on November 11, where they established Plymouth Colony.

The Pilgrims created and signed the Mayflower Compact while on the ship, an agreement made among the passengers before going ashore to establish a rudimentary form of democracy, in which each member would contribute to the safety and welfare of the planned settlement. (1620)

And, on this day in 1906, American actor, director, and screenwriter John Huston, was born. He also wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 film classics he directed, like The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, The Asphalt Jungle, The African Queen, Moulin Rouge (1952), The Misfits, and The Man Who Would Be King.

During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films.

An accomplished painter, Huston symbolized “intellect, charm and physical grace” within the film industry, said producer George Stevens, Jr. “He was the most charismatic of the directors I knew, speaking with a soothing, melodic voice that was unique to him.” Among his friends were Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway. Humphrey Bogart was one of his best friends and Huston delivered the eulogy at his funeral. A heavy smoker, Huston died of emphysema in 1987. Watch his amusing acceptance speech at his AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony….

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