I was recently asked by someone in the Czech Republic what I thought were the ten greatest moments in white history.
This required some thought, because there are, of course, so many great moments. But after thinking about it a lot, I set up a basic guideline to determine the most significant moments, and the list is below.
The guideline I used is that the event (“moment”) must have been significant enough to have affected the present-day world, and not merely be of historical importance.
So for example, really great events, such as the Battle of Thermopylae, where the Spartans held off the Persians, while being incredible in themselves, did not directly affect the creation of the modern world, and therefore, they didn’t make it onto this list.
Having said that, here is my list of the ten greatest moments in white history, sorted by date, from earliest to most recent.
Anybody who can think of any others, feel free to add them in the comments.
1. The Battle of Nedao, 454 AD. The Germans—and other Europeans—who had survived nearly 70 years of Hun rule, finally defeated the Huns and drove them back into the East. The Germans, as victors over the Huns, became famous among their racial cousins, with the Icelandic word for German, “Thodthverdthur” still translating literally as “peoples’ defender.”
2. The Battle of Lechfeld 955 A.D. An Asiatic army organized by the Magyars (NOT to be confused with present-day Hungarians!) is halted in its attempt to invade Europe by a German army under Saxon King Otto I.
|King Otto I.
3. The Battle of Kulikovo, 8 September 1380. White Russians under Prince Dmitri of Moscow defeat the Asiatic armies of the Golden Horde under the command of Mamai. This battle effectively broke the Mongol invasion and occupation of southern Russia, and prepared the way for the European reconquest of all those lands.
|Prince Dmitry Donskoy.
4. 1436. The German Johannes Gutenberg invents the printing press, making the first breakthrough in mass communications upon which almost all inventions since then have relied upon.
|Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press.
5. The Fall of Granada, January 2, 1492: The last Moorish stronghold in Spain surrenders to the victorious Spanish army, led personally by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. It was the first time in 770 years that all of Spain was once again under European control.
|The Fall of Granada.
6. Christopher Columbus sights land in the Americas, October 12, 1492. Although looking for India, Columbus discovered the Americas, sparking off the settlement of North America which became the USA.
7. The Siege of Vienna, September 1683. The Turkish Ottoman invasion is defeated and prevented from overrunning all of Europe. The Turks are then pushed back south down the Balkans in an extended war involving almost all European nations, only ending in the early 19th Century when they are finally expelled from their last strongholds.
|The Hero of Vienna, Jan Sobieski.
8. The Battle of Navarino, October 20, 1827, was a great European naval victory which gave birth to present-day Greece. This victory spurred on further victories for the European forces on land which culminated in the independence of Greece under European protection in 1830.
|The Battle of Navarino.
9. 1948. American physicists Walter Houser Brattain, John Bardeen, and William Bradford Shockley invent the transistor, a device which laid the basis for the electronic device revolution—including computers—of the 20th and 21st centuries.
|William Bradford Shockley.
10. The Apollo 11 Moon Landing in 1969. No technological feat has ever been greater, or more daring.
|The Apollo II crew.