June 3, 2020
Day 155 of 366
June 3rd is the 155th day of the year. It is Mabo Day in Australia, a celebration of Eddie Koiki Mabo. An indigenous Torres Strait Islander, his campaign for Indigenous land rights led to a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia that overturned the legal fiction of terra nullius on 3 June 3, 1992. The previous legal standing had directed the course of Australian law with regards to land and title since the voyage of James Cook in 1770.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Egg Day, National Repeat Day, National Chocolate Macaroons Day, and National Running Day. That last one is typically observed on the first Wednesday in June.
Historical items of note:
- In 1539, Hernando de Soto claimed Florida for Spain. Does that make him the first Florida Man?
- In 1885, Cree leader Big Bear escaped the North-West Mounted Police. It was the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil.
- In 1889, the first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States was completed. It spanned 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.
- In 1926, poet Allen Ginsberg was born.
- In 1930, author and poet Marion Zimmer Bradley was born.
- In 1947, special effects artist and producer John Dykstra was born.
- In 1950, screenwriter Melissa Mathison was born.
- In 1961, lawyer, academic, author, and founder of the Creative Commons Lawrence Lessig was born.
- In 1965, Gemini 4 was launched. It was the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew, and astronaut Ed White performed the first American spacewalk.
- In 1967, reporter Anderson Cooper was born.
- In 1988, the movie Big premiered.
- In 1989, the government of China sent troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.
- In 2012, the pageant for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II took place on the River Thames.
June 3rd is Bicycle Day.
The United Nations General Assembly declared the international celebration, recognizing “the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the Bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transport.”
The idea came from American sociology professor Leszek Sibilski, eventually gaining the support of fifty-seven other countries. The main message is that the bicycle belongs to and serves all of humanity. The bicycle serves as a symbol of human progress and advancement, and promotes “tolerance, mutual understanding, and respect.” It also facilitates social inclusion and a culture of peace.
The event also recognizes the ecological impact of bicycles, emphasizing them as a “symbol of sustainable transport” that conveys a positive message of sustainable consumption and production.
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.