April 5, 2020
Day 96 of 366
April 5th is the ninety-sixth day of the year. It is Sikmogil in South Korea. Also known as the Korean Arbor Day, Sikmogil was established to celebrate forestry and the development of national history. The day of April 5 was chosen for its historical significance, the day upon which Silla achieved the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.
It is also known to fans of Star Trek as First Contact Day. The eighth film in the franchise, Star Trek: First Contact, established the date of first contact between the people of Earth and the Vulcans as April 5, 2063. Fans have celebrated the date since the film premiered in 1996.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Caramel Day, National Deep Dish Pizza Day, National Flash Drive Day, National Go For Broke Day, National Nebraska Day, National Raisin and Spice Bar Day, National Read a Road Map Day, and Geologists Day. The last one is typically observed on the first Sunday in April.
Historical items of note:
- In 1722, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.
- In 1792, United States President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill. This was the first time this power is used in the United States.
- In 1856, educator, essayist, and historian Booker T. Washington was born.
- In 1900, Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discover a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B.
- In 1904, the first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team comprised of Welsh and Scottish players in Central Park, Wigan, England.
- In 1908, actress Bette Davis was born.
- In 1909, Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli was born. An American film producer, he co-founded Eon Productions, home of the James Bond franchise.
- In 1916, actor, producer, and activist Gregory Peck was born.
- In 1922, the American Birth Control League, the forerunner of Planned Parenthood, was incorporated.
- In 1933, actor Frank Gorshin was born. He played the Riddler in the 1966 Batman television series.
- In 1949, a fire at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham, Illinois, killed 77 people. The tragedy led to nationwide fire code improvements in the United States.
- Also in 1949, astronaut Judith Resnik was born.
- In 1950, writer Ann C. Crispin was born.
- In 1952, actor Mitch Pileggi was born.
- In 1958, Ripple Rock was destroyed. The underwater mountain was a threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada, and it was removed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.
- In 1982, actress Hayley Atwell was born.
- In 1994, Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at his home in Seattle. His body wasn’t discovered until three days later by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system.
- In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge opened to traffic in Japan, becoming the longest bridge span in the world.
- In 2008, Apple’s iTunes overtook supermarket group Wal-Mart to become the largest music retailer in the United States.
April 5th is Gold Star Spouses Day.
Families of United States service members are able to fly and display service flags. These flags have a white field with a large red border, inside of which are a number of blue stars corresponding to the number of family members serving during a period of time. A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member who died during military operations, typically during engagements during and after World War I. The flags and their usage are codified by law in the United States Code.
The families who fly the flags are referred to as Blue Star and Gold Star Families. Therefore, the spouse of a fallen service member is referred to as a Gold Star Wife or Husband, and Gold Star Spouses Day is a day to commemorate their sacrifices.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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