March 30 – On this day in Greece...

Posted on March 30, 2017

  • On this date in 1841, a National Bank of Greece was founded in Athens.

  • On this date in 1863, the Danish prince Wilhelm Georg was chosen as Kind George of Greece.

  • On this date in 1946, the Greek Civil War began when the communist-backed Democratic Army of Greece rose up against the government.

  • On this date in 1992, famous Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos died at age 72.

Every day, everywhere, good things happen and bad things happen. Greece has had its glory days, but also its disasters and down times. It's had an outsized influence on western culture, but also has been dismissed as a place whose glory days are long gone. In modern times, it has been discussed internationally for its debt crisis and its high unemployment rate.

I love-love-love ancient stuff, so when I feature Greece and all things Greek, I love to focus on Ancient Greece.

And, of course, this ancient civilization had so much influence on science, math, language, art, government, and architecture. 

But here are some great things about modern Greece:

It's the sunniest nation in Europe!

It has thousands of islands, with only 130 or so of these being inhabited; many are considered some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Greece has more than 4,000 officially recognized traditional dances!

Not only is Greece the originator of the Olympic Games, it has at times shocked the world with major sports upsets. Two examples: 2004 UEFA European Championship (soccer, also known as football) and beating the U.S. "Dream Team" in basketball at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Thanks to its glorious past and its incredible tourism (tourists visiting per year are often double the population of the nation!), Greece has more archaeological museums than any other country in the world. (It has an outsized number of international airports and the largest merchant fleets in the world, by tonnage, although many ships are registered under other nations' flags.)

Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges. 

Many Greek doors and windowsills are painted turquoise blue.

As many as as 100,000 birds from northern Europe and Asia spend their winters in Greece.

Also on this date:

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