March 18, 2020
Day 78 of 366
March 18th is the seventy-eighth day of the year. It is Gallipoli Memorial Day in Turkey, observing a day of remembrance for those lost in the Dardanelles Campaign from February 17, 1915 to January 9, 1916.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Awkward Moments Day, National Biodiesel Day, National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day, National SBDC Day, National Sloppy Joe Day, and National Supreme Sacrifice Day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1793, The Republic of Mainz was declared by Andreas Joseph Hofmann. It was the first modern republic in Germany and would only last until July.
- In 1850, American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo. Yes, that Wells and Fargo.
- In 1865, the Congress of the Confederate States adjourned for the last time.
- In 1874, Hawaii signed a treaty with the United States granting exclusive trade rights.
- In 1892, former Governor-General Lord Stanley pledged to donate a silver challenge cup as an award for the best hockey team in Canada. It was later named after him as the Stanley Cup.
- In 1926, actor and director Peter Graves was born.
- In 1959, the Hawaii Admission Act was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It dissolved the Territory of Hawaii and paved the way for the State of Hawaii to join the United States that August.
- In 1963, actress and singer Vanessa Williams was born.
- In 1965, Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov left spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, thus becoming the first person to walk in space.
- In 1968, the United States Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back its country’s currency.
- In 1970, actress and singer Queen Latifa was born.
- In 1989, actress Lily Collins was born.
In 1837, Grover Cleveland was born. An American lawyer and politician, he served as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only American president to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.
Cleveland grew up in upstate New York as the son of a Presbyterian minister. He served as the Mayor of Buffalo and the Governor of New York. He led the pro-business Bourbon Democrats, opposing high tariffs, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies as a fiscal conservative. People loved him for his honesty, self-reliance, and integrity, as well as his commitment to classical liberalism.
He won the popular vote for three presidential elections – in 1884, 1888 (which he lost to Benjamin Harrison), and 1892 – and was one of two Democrats (with Woodrow Wilson) to be elected president during an era of Republican political domination spanning 1861 to 1933. His first term in office was successful, but his second was beset by a national depression brought on during the Panic of 1893. By the end of his second term, he was considered to be one of the most unpopular presidents in American history and was rejected by his party.
Regardless, he is still considered to have been a successful leader and is generally ranked among the upper-mid tier of his presidential peers.
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.