March 1, 2020
Day 61 of 366
March 1st is the sixty-first day of the year. It is Beer Day in Iceland, which celebrates the end of a 74-year prohibition on beer in 1989.
In the United States, it is “celebrated” as National Dadgum That’s Good Day, National Fruit Compote Day, National Horse Protection Day, National Minnesota Day, National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, National Pig Day, Self-Injury Awareness Day, and Finisher’s Medal Day. That last one is typically observed on the first Sunday in March.
Historical items of note:
- In 293, Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars. This is considered the beginning of the Tetrarchy, also known as the Quattuor Principes Mundi (“Four Rulers of the World”).
- In 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in what would become Brazil.
- In 1642, Georgeana, Massachusetts became the first incorporated city in the United States. It is now known as York, Maine.
- In 1781, the Articles of Confederation went into effect in the United States. They would be replaced in twelve years by the current Constitution of the United States.
- In 1790, the first United States census was authorized.
- In 1810, Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin was born.
- In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park.
- In 1893, Nikola Tesla gave the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.
- In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered the phenomenon of radioactive decay.
- In 1910, actor and soldier David Niven was born.
- In 1918, actor Roger Delgado was born. He first portrayed the Master on Doctor Who.
- In 1924, astronaut Deke Slayton was born.
- In 1927, actor and singer-songwriter Harry Belafonte was born.
- In 1945, actor Dirk Benedict was born.
- In 1946, the Bank of England was nationalized.
- In 1947, the International Monetary Fund began operations.
- In 1954, the Castle Bravo 15-megaton hydrogen bomb was detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The event resulted in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.
- Also in 1954, actress Catherine Bach was born.
- Also in 1954, actor, director, and producer Ron Howard was born.
- In 1961, United States President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.
- In 1966, the Venera 3 space probe crashed on Venus. Launched by the Soviet Union, it was the first spacecraft to land on another planet’s surface.
- In 1969, Spanish actor and producer Javier Bardem was born.
- In 1975, color television transmissions began in Australia.
- In 1983, Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o was born.
- In 1998, Titanic became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.
- In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Roper v. Simmons. This case established that the execution of juveniles found guilty of murder is unconstitutional.
In 1941, Captain America was first published.
Cap was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 from Timely Comics, a predecessor to Marvel. He was designed as a patriotic supersoldier who fought against the Axis powers in World War II. While the character was very popular in the wartime period, the book was discontinued when interest in superheroes diminished after the war ended.
Marvel Comics revived the character in 1964 and Cap has remained in publication ever since.
The character’s story revolves around being turned into a supersoldier (courtesy of a special serum) and eventually frozen in ice until the modern day. With his nearly indestructible shield, Captain America struggles to maintain his ideals as a man out of time. He was the first Marvel Comics character to appear in media outside comics with the release of 1944’s Captain America serial. He has since been in various films and television series, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is where I grew to love the character thanks to actor Chris Evans and the creative team behind those movies.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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