For all that we live in a world with conflict, disaster, and uncertainty, we also have important times of harmony and kinship.
It does us good to remember the high points of humanity throughout history—and we’ve got a ton to choose from.
From solidarity between nations to a friendship that spanned years and oceans, to one eccentric Emperor who inspired a city: history can show us the best in ourselves. Here are 25 historical events so heartwarming that, if you’ve never heard of them, you’ll wish you had!
Soccer might be the secret to world peace.
The Côte d’Ivoire’s 2006 civil war ended in a ceasefire so they could all watch the World Cup.
Basically, although the country was in a civil war at the time, their soccer team was still made up of people from across the country. After they beat Sudan to qualify for the World Cup, the team got on their knees together on TV and asked everyone to stop fighting and hold elections.
The fighting stopped only a few days after that, and the country currently has a functioning government with free elections. –1darklight1
Operation Little Vittles: the sweetest mission during the Berlin Blockade.
Colonel Gail Halvorson, a.k.a. the “Berlin Candy Bomber” or “Uncle Wiggly Wings.” He was a pilot during the Berlin Airlift. During one stop in Berlin, he came across 30 German children who had nothing but told him that he should keep flying because they wanted their freedom. He gave them two sticks of gum, which they promptly divided among themselves, even retaining the wrapper so they could sniff it.
Touched, he told them to watch for the plane wiggling its wings. Meanwhile, he got his crew’s ration of chocolate, cut it up, and tied it to handkerchief parachutes. When he was next approaching Berlin, he wiggled his wings and threw the parachutes out of the window.
Begun without official approval, when General Tunner, the commander of the Airlift heard of the operation, he made it formal. Soon, candy makers from the US began shipping tons of candy (pre-tied with handkerchief parachutes) for the German children, and nearly every pilot in the Airlift participated. –drsameagle
Bummer and Lazarus were canine celebrities in San Francisco.
The two dogs had the run of the streets, and when, on June 14, 1862, Lazarus was taken by a new dog catcher, a mob of angry citizens demanded his release, petitioning to have the pair declared city property so they could wander the streets unmolested.
The city supervisors released Lazarus and declared he and Bummer were exempt from the city ordinance against strays. –BurdenOfItys
This is the kind of guy we’d all like as our neighbor.
via: Randall Benton
During WW2, a Californian agricultural inspector was approached by two of his neighbors, who were being sent to internment camps for being Japanese. They asked him to watch after their farms – basically, to make sure the land didn’t get stolen and offered him full use of their homes and any profits the farm incurred during that time.
Bob Fletcher taught himself how to farm their crops, put in 18-hour days to fully run both farms, slept in the bunkhouse instead of using his neighbors’ homes, and invested the not insignificant profits he made through his hard work. When his neighbors were released and returned home, they were discouraged and fearful of what they would find. What they found was flourishing crops, and a sizable nest egg thanks to the invested profits Fletcher had held in trust and then split with them 50-50.
I love this story because it demonstrates in full what is meant by loving your neighbor, and doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. –TheLostSkellyton
Another example of loving your neighbor, and these two weren’t even neighbors.
via: Brian McAleer
The Choctaw tribe of the southern United States donated $170 (tens of thousands in today’s currency) to the Irish in 1847 at the height of the Irish Famine. –JediMasterGeoff
As a note, the forced relocation of Native Americans (including the Choctaw tribe) along the Trail of Tears had also happened in recent years—and still, they sent funds to another people who were suffering.
Coming up next, stories of resistance and resilience from conflicts that shook the world, including heroes of World War II they don’t tell you about in school!