The Thing About Today – May 24

May 24, 2020
Day 145 of 366


May 24th is the 145th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Eritrea, commemorating their independence from Ethiopia in 1993.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Yucatan Shrimp DayNational Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, Brother’s Day, National Scavenger Hunt Day, National Escargot Day, and National Wyoming Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1819, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was born.
  • In 1830, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale was published.
  • In 1844, Samuel Morse sent the message “What hath God wrought” – a biblical quotation from Numbers 23:23 – from a committee room in the United States Capitol. The message was received by his assistant Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, and it inaugurated a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.
  • In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was opened to traffic in New York City after 14 years of construction.
  • In 1925, illustrator and educator Carmine Infantino was born.
  • In 1930, Amy Johnson landed in Darwin, Northern Territory after an 11,000-mile flight that began on May 5th. This made her the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.
  • In 1940, Igor Sikorsky performed the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
  • In 1941, singer-songwriter, guitarist, artist, writer, producer, and Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan was born.
  • In 1943, actor Gary Burghoff was born.
  • In 1944, singer-songwriter and actress Patti LaBelle was born.
  • In 1949, actor Jim Broadbent was born.
  • Also in 1949, cinematographer Roger Deakins was born.
  • In 1953, actor Alfred Molina was born.
  • In 1958, United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.
  • In 1960, English actress Kristin Scott Thomas was born.
  • In 1962, American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
  • In 1965, actor John C. Reilly was born.
  • In 1972, director, producer, and screenwriter Greg Berlanti was born.
  • In 1989, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released.
  • In 1999, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicted Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.


May 24th is Bermuda Day.

The public holiday is celebrated in the islands of Bermuda and is typically observed on the last Friday in May. Before a permanent move in 2018, the date was May 24th or the nearest Monday if the 24th was on a weekend.

Bermuda Day is traditionally the first day of the year that residents will go into the sea or go onto the water after winter. It is also traditionally the first day on which Bermuda shorts are worn as business attire. To celebrate the holiday, there is a parade in Hamilton, Bermuda, and a road race from the west end of the island into Hamilton. Celebratory events are popular with spectators, and residents are known to stake out particular sections of the pavements to enable them to watch the runners and the floats.


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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