Monday, February 20, 2012

This Day in History February 21, 1945

Anyone ever see Chariots of Fire?  I will admit that I have, and the movie bored me to tears.  But the story is phenomenal.  And on this date in 1945, the central character, Eric Liddell, died in a Japanese internment camp.  But his legacy has continued far beyond his life.

He was born in China to Scottish missionaries in 1902.  It was summer of 1924 at the Paris Olympics when he attained worldwide attention.  He refused to run the heat for his best event--the 100-meter--because it was held on Sunday.  He cited Christian reasons, and he was forced to withdraw.  He received a bronze medal for the 400-meter race, and that European record stood for 12 years.

From 1925-1943, he served as a missionary in China.  The British government recommended that British nationals leave as things became more dangerous in 1941.  He refused to leave and died of an illness in a Japanese camp.  In 2008, it came out that he had the chance to leave that camp but allowed a pregnant woman to leave in his place.  This information was a surprise even to his family members.

For a lot more information, check out:

And if you have never seen Chariots of Fire, it is definitely worth watching even if the plot sometimes lags.  I haven't seen it in years, and I think I would like to again!


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