April 30, 2020
Day 121 of 366
April 30th is the 121st day of the year. It is Honesty Day in the United States, a day to encourage honesty and straightforward communication in politics, relationships, consumer relations, and historical education. M. Hirsh Goldberg chose the last day of April for two reasons: First, since the first day of that month, which is April Fools’ Day, celebrates falsehoods; and second, it is the anniversary of the first inauguration of George Washington as President of the United States.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, National Bubble Tea Day, National Bugs Bunny Day, National Oatmeal Cookie Day, National PrepareAthon! Day, National Raisin Day, National Sarcoidosis Day, National Military Brats Day, and National Hairstylist Appreciation Day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.
- In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.
- In 1812, the Territory of Orleans became Louisiana, the 18th state to join the United States.
- In 1885, New York State Governor David B. Hill signed legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New York’s first state park, thus ensuring that Niagara Falls would not be devoted solely to industrial and commercial use.
- In 1897, J. J. Thomson of the Cavendish Laboratory announced his discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle, over 1,800 times smaller than a proton, at a lecture at the Royal Institution in London.
- In 1900, Hawaii became a territory of the United States with Sanford B. Dole as governor.
- In 1905, Albert Einstein completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich.
- In 1926, actress and comedian Cloris Leachman was born.
- In 1938, the animated short Porky’s Hare Hunt debuted in movie theaters. This story introduced Happy Rabbit, an early version of Bugs Bunny.
- In 1945, Adolf Hitler and his newlywed wife Eva Braun committed suicide in the Führerbunker. Soviet soldiers raised the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building.
- In 1947, Boulder Dam in Nevada was renamed Hoover Dam.
- In 1965, actor Adrian Pasdar was born.
- In 1980, actor Sam Heughan was born.
- In 1982, actress Kirsten Dunst was born.
- In 1985, actress Gal Gadot was born.
April 30 is International Jazz Day.
International Jazz Day was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011 “to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.” The idea came from jazz pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock.
Jazz originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. It is known as “America’s classical music”.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, an American non-governmental organization (NGO) also chaired by Hancock, is the lead organizational partner for Jazz Day. The Institute coordinates activities in the UNESCO member states as well as the Global Host Celebration, where events culminate in an All-Star Global Concert. That concert involves over two-dozen jazz musicians from around the world performing in or around a historical landmark in the host city.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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