The Thing About Today – April 24

April 24, 2020
Day 115 of 366


April 24th is the 115th day of the year. It is Fashion Revolution Day, a not-for-profit global movement that campaigns for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

It is also Arbor Day in the United States, which is typically observed on the last Friday of April.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Pigs in a Blanket Day, National Teach Children To Save Day (which changes annually), National Arbor Day, and National Hairball Awareness Day (which is typically observed on the last Friday in April).


Historical items of note:

  • In 1183 BC, today marked the Fall of Troy (by traditional reckoning), which incurred the end of the legendary Trojan War. The date was given by the chief librarian of the Library of Alexandria, Eratosthenes of Cyrene, among others.
  • In 1800, the United States Library of Congress was established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”.
  • In 1885, the American sharpshooter Annie Oakley is hired by Nate Salsbury to be a part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.
  • In 1914, the Franck–Hertz experiment was presented to the German Physical Society. This pillar of quantum mechanics was the first electrical measurement to clearly show the quantum nature of atoms.
  • In 1930, actor, director, and producer Richard Donner was born.
  • In 1933, Nazi Germany began its persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses by shutting down the Watch Tower Society office in Magdeburg.
  • In 1934, actress, singer, and dancer Shirley MacLaine was born.
  • In 1942, singer, actress, activist, and producer Barbra Streisand was born.
  • In 1964, actor Djimon Hounsou was born.
  • In 1967, Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died in Soyuz 1 when the craft’s parachute failed to open. He became the first human to die during a space mission.
  • In 1968, actress Stacy Haiduk was born.
  • In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery during mission STS-31.


This year, April 24th is Arbor Day in the United States.

Arbor Day is a holiday on which people are encouraged to learn about and plant trees.

The first documented Arbor Day in the world was held in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo in 1594. The place remains today as Alameda de los Remedios, and it is still planted with lime and horse-chestnut trees. A humble granite marker and a bronze plate commemorate the event.

In 1805, the Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra held the first modern Arbor Day. The first American Arbor Day was in Nebraska City, Nebraska as organized by J. Sterling Morton on April 10, 1872, during which an estimated one million trees were planted.

The idea was globalized when Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada, and Europe.

After lobbying efforts, President Theodore Roosevelt issued an “Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States” on April 15, 1907. The proclamation concerned the importance of trees and that forestry deserved to be taught in United States schools.

Arbor Day is also celebrated around the world and across the various states in the country, many of them on different days. Despite the difference in dates, the concept has made a significant impact on the world.


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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