May 28, 2020
Day 149 of 366
May 28th is the 149th day of the year. It is Flag Day in the Philippines and Republic Day in Nepal.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Brisket Day and National Hamburger Day. If you’re feeling frisky, try combining the two.
Historical items of note:
- In 585 BC, a solar eclipse occurred. This event was predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, and it happened while Alyattes of Lydia was battling Cyaxares in the Battle of Halys. Not only did it lead to a truce, but it also became one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
- In 1779, Irish poet and composer Thomas Moore was born.
- In 1830, United States President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. This denied Native Americans their land rights and forcibly relocated them.
- In 1892, John Muir organized the Sierra Club in San Francisco, California.
- In 1908, English journalist and author Ian Fleming was born. He created James Bond.
- In 1933, actress and activist Zelda Rubinstein was born.
- In 1934, the Dionne quintuplets were born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne near Callander, Ontario, Canada. They would be the first quintuplets to survive infancy.
- In 1936, Alan Turing submitted On Computable Numbers for publication.
- In 1937, the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen was founded.
- In 1944, actress and singer-songwriter Gladys Knight was born.
- In 1945, physician and author Patch Adams was born. He founded the Gesundheit! Institute.
- In 1961, Peter Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners was published in several internationally read newspapers. This would later be seen as the founding moment of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
- In 1967, actress Kari Wuhrer was born.
- In 1968, Australian singer-songwriter, producer, and actress Kylie Minogue was born.
- In 1985, actress and signer Carey Mulligan was born.
- In 2002, the last steel girder was removed from the original World Trade Center site. Cleanup duties officially ended with closing ceremonies at Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York City.
And now, a bit of the taboo, but one point of this particular observance is to break those taboos: May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD or MH Day, for short) is an annual awareness day used to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management and break the taboos surrounding it. The observance was started by the German-based non-governmental organization (NGO) WASH United in 2014. The 28th was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle.
In low-income countries, girls’ and women’s choices of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by the costs, availability, and social norms. Those societal norms often stem back to religious beliefs, which treat menstrual cycles as dirty and unspeakable topics, thus relegating women to second-class citizenship.
Adequate sanitation facilities and access to feminine hygiene products are one part of the solution. Creating a culture that welcomes open discussion and adequate education for women and girls is of equal importance. Research has found that not having access to menstrual hygiene management products can keep girls home from school during their period each month.
Since men have traditionally held decision-making roles in these cultures, and boys are still being raised to replace them, discussion and education must also jump the gender gap.
Menstrual Hygiene Day creates an occasion for public information campaigns, including via social media, which can help to engage decision-makers in policy dialogue. The day offers an opportunity to actively advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management into global, national, and local policies and programs, thus breaking the ignorance and taboos to make societies a better and more equal place to live.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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