May 2, 2020
Day 123 of 366
May 2nd is the 123rd day of the year. It is the anniversary of the Dos de Mayo Uprising, celebrated by the community of Madrid, Spain. The uprising was a rebellion in 1808 by the people of Madrid against the occupation of the city by the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte, provoking repression by the French Imperial forces.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Truffle Day and National Life Insurance Day. It is also the first Saturday of May, which means that it is Kentucky Derby Day, National Fitness Day, National Scrapbook Day, National Homebrew Day, Join Hands Day, National Bombshells’ Day, and National Start Seeing Monarchs Day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn was arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason, and witchcraft. The true reasoning was that she had not produced a male heir for King Henry VIII and the king wanted to move on to his next wife. Her execution weeks later would make her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that marked the start of the English Reformation.
- In 1559, John Knox returned from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the nascent Scottish Reformation.
- In 1611, the King James Version of the Bible was published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.
- In 1918, General Motors acquired the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
- In 1935, actor Lance LeGault was born. If he was on television in the 1980s, odds were that he was the bad guy.
- In 1936, English singer and pianist Engelbert Humperdinck was born.
- In 1937, actor, producer, and screenwriter Lorenzo Music was born.
- In 1952, the world’s first-ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1, made its maiden flight from London to Johannesburg.
- In 1954, composer and conductor Elliot Goldenthal was born.
- In 1969, the British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departed on her maiden voyage to New York City.
- In 1972, wrestler, actor, and producer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born.
- In 2000, United States President Bill Clinton announced that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
- In 2008, Iron Man premiered. Starring Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark, it was the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- In 2011, Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man, was killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
This year, May 2 was supposed to be Free Comic Book Day.
Taking place on the first Saturday of May, Free Comic Book Day is an annual promotional effort by the North American comic book industry to help bring new readers into independent comic book stores.
Joe Field, a retailer from Flying Colors Comics in Concord, California brainstormed the event in his “Big Picture” column in the August 2001 issue of Comics & Games Retailer magazine. Free Comic Book Day started in 2002 and is coordinated by the industry’s single large distributor, Diamond Comic Distributors.
Image Comics publisher Jim Valentino suggested having the first Free Comic Book Day on the same weekend as the theatrical premiere of Spider-Man in 2002. The event was shifted to July in 2004 to correspond to the opening weekend for Spider-Man 2, but it was moved back to May the following year.
During the event, participating comic book store retailers give away specially printed copies of free comic books, and some offer special deals and creator signings to those visiting their establishments. Retailers don’t receive those issues for free, instead having to pay between twelve to fifty cents an issue. In addition to comic books, some stores also give away other merchandise, such as mini-posters and other movie tie-in memorabilia.
The 2020 event was initially changed to be a month-long event before it was indefinitely postponed due of the COVID-19. More information can be found on the official website.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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