The Thing About Today – May 26

May 26, 2020
Day 147 of 366

 

May 26th is the 147th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Guyana as they celebrate the anniversary of their separation from the United Kingdom in 1966.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, and National Paper Airplane Day.

 

Historical items of note:

  • In 1783, a Great Jubilee Day was held at North Stratford, Connecticut to celebrate the end of fighting in the American Revolution.
  • In 1857, Dred Scott was emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.
  • In 1868, the impeachment trial of United States President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal by one vote.
  • In 1896, Charles Dow published the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • In 1897, Dracula, the famous novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, was published.
  • In 1907, actor, singer, director, and producer John Wayne was born.
  • In 1913, actor Peter Cushing was born.
  • In 1922, businessman Troy Smith was born. He was the founder of Sonic Drive-In.
  • In 1923, actor James Arness was born.
  • In 1940, Operation Dynamo commenced as Allied forces began a massive evacuation from Dunkirk, France.
  • In 1948, the United States Congress passed Public Law 80-557. It permanently established the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
  • In 1951, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride was born. In 1983, she became the first woman in space.
  • In 1966, actress Helena Bonham Carter was born.
  • In 1998, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, was mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.

 

In 1998, the first “National Sorry Day” was held in Australia. Reconciliation events were held nationally and attended by over a million people.

The purpose of the annual event is to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country’s Indigenous peoples, as part of an ongoing process of reconciliation between the Indigenous peoples and the settler population.

During the 20th century, Australian government policies caused children to be separated from their families, with the intention of assimilating them into White Australian culture. This resulted in what became known as the “Stolen Generations”, with the effects of these traumatic removals being felt by succeeding generations even today.

On May 26, 1997, the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in Parliament. It was the result of a government inquiry into the practice and made many recommendations, including that state and federal governments should issue formal apologies and that funding should be provided to help deal with the consequences of the policies. This date now carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, and is also commemorated by many non-Indigenous Australians.

The incumbent Prime Minister John Howard refused to apologize, but Kevin Rudd issued a formal apology on behalf of the government and people when he was prime minister, on February 13, 2008.

 

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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