January 10, 2020
Day 10 of 366
January 10th is the tenth day of the year. It is Traditional Day (also known as Fête du Vodoun, Vodoun Festival, and Traditional Religions Day) in Benin, which celebrates the nation’s history surrounding the West African religion of Vodoun.
Historical items of note:
- In 9 AD, the Western Han dynasty came to an end when Wang Mang claimed that the divine Mandate of Heaven called for it. He immediately replaced it with his own Xin dynasty.
- In 1776, Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense, which advocated independence for the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain.
- In 1863, the Metropolitan Railway opened between Paddington and Farringdon. The stretch of rail is the world’s oldest underground railway and marked the beginning of the London Underground.
- In 1904, Ray Bolger was born. He portrayed the Scarecrow and farmhand Hunk in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz.
- In 1920, the Treaty of Versailles took effect, officially ending World War I.
- In 1927, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was released in Germany. It was among the first feature-length science fiction films.
- In 1946, the first General Assembly of the United Nations opened in London, representing fifty-one nations of the world.
In 1967, majority rule was gained in The Bahamas for the first time.
The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718 during the suppression of piracy in the region. After the American Revolution, the Bahamas saw an influx of British loyalists, solidifying the colony’s connections to the crown. Nearly two hundred years later, the Bahamas started moving toward independence. After World War II, local political parties started to form and by 1964 a new constitution was enacted that granted more local autonomy for citizens.
Assembly elections were held on January 10, 1967. The Progressive Liberal Party and the ruling United Bahamian Party both won 18 seats, and Labour MP Randol Fawkes sided with the Progressive Liberal Party to enable majority rule for the first time in Bahamian history. To commemorate the event, Majority Rule Day was made into a public holiday in 2014 to symbolizing the promise of equality, a level playing field, and fair play for all Bahamians.
It stands alongside emancipation from slavery in 1836 and gaining independence from Great Britain in 1973 as one of the country’s most important historical events.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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