1896 Olympics…Modern Reincarnation

Today in History, March 6, 1896:

The first modern Olympics are held in Athens, Greece. The ancient Olympic games were held in Olympia (thus Olympics) Greece for hundreds of years.

When the 1896 games were held, one of the first events was a run to retrace the route a Greek soldier had taken from Marathon to Athens in 490 B. C., bringing news that the invading Persians had been defeated (Thus the term Marathon). In 1896 there were 280 participants (some of them passing tourists).

The Grand Army of the Republic

Today in History, April 6, 1866:

Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.” The Grand Army of the Republic is formed in Decatur, Illinois, bringing together a Fraternal organization of veterans of the Union (US) Army, Navy, Marines, and “Revenue Cutter Service” (Coast Guard) from the Civil War.

Admittedly an arm of the Republican Party, the GAR was one of the first bi-racial fraternal organizations in the US…white and black veterans worked together to gain veteran’s pensions, elect Republican Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison and McKinley, all Civil War veterans.

At it’s high point, the organization had 490,000 members; it passed with it’s last member’s death in 1956, to be replaced by the “Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

The Olympics Return

Today in History, March 6: 1896 – The first modern Olympics are held in Athens, Greece. The ancient Olympic games were held in Olympia (thus Olympics) Greece for hundreds of years. When the 1896 games were held, one of the first events was a run to retrace the route a Greek soldier had taken from Marathon to Athens in 490 B. C., bringing news that the invading Persians had been defeated (Thus the term Marathon). In 1896 there were 280 participants (some of them passing tourists); in the most recent Olympics, approximately 11,000 athletes were involved. As an aside…the athletes in the ancient Olympics were reputedly all nude. I imagine that would affect the number of viewers….