The Thing About Today – April 22

April 22, 2020
Day 113 of 366


April 22nd is the 113th day of the year. It is Earth Day.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Girl Scout Leader’s Day, National Jelly Bean Day, National Administrative Professionals’ Day (typically the Wednesday of the last full week in April), and National Bookmobile Day (typically the Wednesday of National Library Week).


Historical items of note:

  • In 1724, German anthropologist, philosopher, and academic Immanuel Kant was born.
  • In 1864, the United States Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864. This act changed the composition of the penny, authorized the minting of a two-cent coin, and allowed for the inscription In God We Trust to be placed on all coins minted as United States currency. The phrase replaced E Pluribus Unum as the national motto in 1956 as an attempt to distinguish the United States from the state atheism of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
  • In 1904, physicist and academic J. Robert Oppenheimer was born. He is among those credited as the “father of the atomic bomb.”
  • In 1923, model and actress Bettie Page was born.
  • In 1926, actress and singer Charlotte Rae was born.
  • In 1930, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States signed the London Naval Treaty. This regulated submarine warfare and limited shipbuilding.
  • In 1937, actor and producer Jack Nicholson was born.
  • In 1950, musician Peter Frampton was born.
  • In 1959, actress Catherine Mary Stewart was born.
  • In 1966, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan was born.
  • In 1972, increased American bombing in Vietnam prompted anti-war protests in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco.
  • In 1977, optical fiber was first used to carry live telephone traffic.
  • In 1993, eighteen-year-old Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Well Hall, Eltham, London.
  • In 2000, federal agents seized six-year-old Elián González from his relatives’ home in Miami during a pre-dawn raid.
  • In 2008, the United States Air Force retires the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service.
  • In 2019, Avengers: Endgame premiered in Los Angeles, California.


In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated.

Earth Day annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. At a 1969 UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. He originally wanted to be celebrated on March 21st, the vernal equinox in 1970, and it was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed the idea to hold a nationwide environmental teach-in on April 22nd. He hired young activist Denis Hayes to be the National Coordinator. Earth Day was born, and Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the effort.

The first Earth Day was focused on the United States. In 1990, Hayestook it international and organized events in 141 nations. In 2009, International Mother Earth Day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations under a resolution introduced by The Plurinational State of Bolivia and endorsed by over 50 member states.


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.




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