May 7, 2020
Day 128 of 366
May 7th is the 128th day of the year. It is World Password Day, a day to promote better password and security habits. It is typically observed on the first Thursday in May.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Packaging Design Day, National Paste-Up Day, National Barrier Awareness Day, and National Roast Leg of Lamb Day. Since it is the first Thursday in May, it is also simultaneously observed as the National Day of Prayer and the National Day of Reason.
Historical items of note:
- In 1697, Stockholm’s royal castle (dating back to medieval times) was destroyed by fire. It was replaced in the 18th century by the current Royal Palace.
- In 1824, the world premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony occurred in Vienna, Austria. The performance was conducted by Michael Umlauf under the composer’s supervision.
- In 1833, German pianist and composer Johannes Brahms.
- In 1840, Russian composer and educator Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born.
- In 1846, the Cambridge Chronicle was published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is America’s oldest surviving weekly newspaper.
- In 1864, the world’s oldest surviving clipper ship, the City of Adelaide was launched by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England,. It was used to transport passengers and goods between Britain and Australia.
- In 1915, German submarine U-20 sank RMS Lusitania. 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, were killed in the attack, and public reaction to the sinking turned many former pro-Germans in the United States against the German Empire.
- In 1919, actress and Argentinian First Lady Eva Perón was born.
- In 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, aircraft from the USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Yorktown (CV-5) attacked and sank the Imperial Japanese Navy light aircraft carrier Shōhō. The battle marked the first time in naval history that two enemy fleets fought without visual contact between warring ships.
- In 1946, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering was founded. It would later be renamed as Sony.
- In 1952, the concept of the integrated circuit was first published by Geoffrey Dummer. The concept was the basis for all modern computers.
- In 1992, the Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched on mission STS-49. It was the first for the orbiter, which was a replacement for the Space Shuttle Challenger.
- In 1997, The Fifth Element premiered. At the time, it was the most expensive European film ever made.
In 1895, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated his invention to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society in Saint Petersburg.
The Popov lightning detector used a coherer to detect radio noise from lightning strikes, making it the world’s first radio receiver, albeit a primitive one. Popov was able to use his experience as a teacher at a Russian naval school to explore high-frequency electrical phenomena. A year later, he was able to transmit radio signals 250 meters between different campus buildings.
As a result, May 7th is celebrated in parts of the Russian Federation as Radio Day.
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.