The Thing About Today – May 18

May 18, 2020
Day 139 of 366


May 18th is the 139th day of the year. It is World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, during which advocates promote the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Visit Your Relatives Day, National No Dirty Dishes Day, and National Cheese Soufflé Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1291, the Fall of Acre marked the end of Crusader presence in the Holy Land.
  • In 1652, Rhode Island passed the first law in English-speaking North America. It was to make slavery illegal.
  • In 1872, British mathematician, historian, philosopher, and Nobel Prize laureate Bertrand Russell was born.
  • In 1897, director Frank Capra was born.
  • In 1917, the Selective Service Act of 1917 was passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.
  • In 1927, Grauman’s Chinese Theater opened in Hollywood, California.
  • In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
  • In 1946, actor Andreas Katsulas was born.
  • In 1953, Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.
  • In 1955, Hong Kong actor and screenwriter Chow Yun-fat was born.
  • In 1965, Gene Roddenberry suggested 16 names for the captain on Star Trek. Among them was the name Kirk.
  • In 1969, Apollo 10 was launched on a “dress rehearsal” of the first Moon landing with astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, and Eugene A. Cernan aboard.
  • In 1970, actress, producer, and screenwriter Tina Fey was born.
  • In 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted in the State of Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
  • In 2005, a second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.


May 18th is International Museum Day, an event coordinated by the International Council of Museums that highlights specific themes to reflect the basis of the international museum community’s preoccupations.

The day provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and address challenges in the community. It serves as a platform to raise public awareness on the role museums play in the development of society today, on an international level.

Each year, all museums in the world are invited to participate in the event to promote the role of museums around the world, thus creating unique, enjoyable, and free activities around an annual theme.


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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