The Thing About Today – May 22

May 22, 2020
Day 143 of 366


May 22nd is the 143rd day of the year. It is World Goth Day, a day where “the goth scene gets to celebrate its own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world.” World Goth Day celebrates the subcultural aspects of the Goth subculture. Aspects of the culture like fashion, music, and art are celebrated by fashion shows, art exhibitions, and music performances.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Craft Distillery Day, World Paloma Day, National Solitaire Day, National Buy a Musical Instrument Day, National Vanilla Pudding Day, National Don’t Fry Day, National Road Trip Day, and National Cooler Day. The last three are typically observed on the Friday before Memorial Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1455, the War of the Roses began. At the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeated and captured King Henry VI of England.
  • In 1813, controversial German composer Richard Wagner was born.
  • In 1840, the penal transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished.
  • In 1848, slavery was abolished in Martinique.
  • In 1849, future United States President Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for an invention to lift boats, making him the only United States President to ever hold a patent.
  • In 1900, the Associated Press was formed in New York City as a non-profit news cooperative.
  • In 1906, the Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.
  • In 1907, English actor, director, and producer Sir Laurence Olivier was born.
  • In 1939, actor Paul Winfield was born.
  • In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589) sank 400 miles southwest of the Azores with 99 men aboard. She is one of only two nuclear submarines that the United States Navy has lost – the other being the USS Thresher (SSN-593) – and the reason for the loss is unknown.
  • In 1974, actor Sean Gunn was born.
  • In 1978, actress Ginnifer Goodwin was born.
  • In 1979, actress Maggie Q was born.


In 1819, SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, United States. After this voyage, it became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The Savannah was a hybrid sailing ship and sidewheel steamer built in 1818. Her transatlantic transit was made mainly under sail power, but in spite of this historic voyage, the large amount of space taken up by her large engine and fuel supply cut into cargo space and kept the ship from being a commercial success as a steamship. This was compounded by public anxiety over steam power.

Savannah was wrecked off Long Island, New York in 1821.

To commemorate the monumental transatlantic transit, National Maritime Day was created to recognize the maritime industry.


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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