March 2, 2020
Day 62 of 366
March 2nd is the sixty-second day of the year. It is Texas Independence Day, commemorating the creation of the Republic of Texas on this day in 1836.
In the United States, it is “celebrated” as World Teen Mental Wellness Day, National Banana Cream Pie Day, National Old Stuff Day, and National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day). If that last one falls on a weekend, it is typically observed on the closest school day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1484, the College of Arms was formally incorporated by Royal Charter signed by King Richard III of England.
- In 1797, the Bank of England issued the first one-pound and two-pound banknotes.
- In 1807, the United States Congress passed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, thereby disallowing the importation of new slaves into the country.
- In 1859, the two-day so-called Great Slave Auction, the largest such auction in United States history, began.
- In 1867, the United States Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act.
- In 1877, the United States Congress declared Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the 1876 Presidential Election. Settled only four days before inauguration, the decision was made despite Samuel J. Tilden winning the popular vote because the Electoral College was tied.
- In 1901, United States Steel Corporation was founded as a result of a merger between Carnegie Steel Company and Federal Steel Company. This resulted in the first corporation in the world with a market capital over $1 billion.
- In 1903, the Martha Washington Hotel opened in New York City, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women.
- In 1917, Cuban-American actor, singer, and producer Desi Arnaz was born.
- In 1933, King Kong opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
- In 1935, Porky Pig made his debut with “I Haven’t Got a Hat”.
- In 1937, the Steel Workers Organizing Committee signed a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel, thus leading to unionization of the United States steel industry.
- In 1949, Captain James Gallagher landed his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas. This completed the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.
- Also in 1949, actress and choreographer Gates McFadden was born.
- In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain set the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.
- In 1965, The Sound of Music premiered.
- In 1968, actor and producer Daniel Craig was born.
- In 1969, the first test flight of the Concorde was conducted in Toulouse, France.
- In 1972, the Pioneer 10 space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets. The last contact with the probe was made in 2003.
- In 1976, Walt Disney World logged its 50 millionth guest after opening in October 1971.
- In 1981, actress and filmmaker Bryce Dallas Howard was born.
- In 1983, compact discs and players were released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.
- In 1995, researchers at Fermilab announced the discovery of the top quark.
In 1904, Dr. Seuss was born.
Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American children’s book writer, poet, animator, screenwriter, and illustrator. He wrote and illustrated for more than sixty books, including many of the most popular children’s books of all time.
He adopted the “Dr. Seuss” pen name in college and began his career at Vanity Fair and Life magazines. He published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937 but took a break to illustrate political cartoons and make films for the United States Army during World War II. It was during his service to the Army that he won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Design for Death.
After the war, Geisel returned to writing children’s books. He wrote classics like If I Ran the Zoo (1950), Horton Hears a Who! (1955), If I Ran the Circus (1956), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). All told, he published over 60 books during his career. Those works have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, five feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series.
He died of cancer on September 24, 1991, at the age of 87.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.