The Thing About Today – June 13

June 13, 2020
Day 165 of 366


June 13th is the 165th day of the year. It is Inventors’ Day in Hungary.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day, National Weed Your Garden Day, National Sewing Machine Day, and National Rosé Day (which is typically observed on the second Saturday in June).


Historical items of note:

  • In 313, the decisions of the Edict of Milan, signed by Constantine the Great and co-emperor Valerius Licinius, were published in Nicomedia. They granted religious freedom throughout the Roman Empire.
  • In 1525, Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, standing against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.
  • In 1774, Rhode Island became the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves.
  • In 1777, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, known simply as Lafayette in the United States, landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.
  • In 1831, Scottish physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell was born. His most notable achievement was the “second great unification in physics”, specifically to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon.
  • In 1865, Irish poet, playwright, and Nobel Prize laureate William Butler Yeats was born.
  • In 1870, Belgian immunologist, microbiologist, and Nobel Prize laureate Jules Bordet was born.
  • In 1892, actor Basil Rathbone was born.
  • In 1893, United States President Grover Cleveland noticed a rough spot in his mouth. On July 1, he underwent a secret, successful surgery to remove a large, cancerous portion of his jaw. The public didn’t find out until 1917, nine years after the president’s death.
  • In 1911, physicist, academic, and Nobel Prize laureate Luis Walter Alvarez was born.
  • In 1928, mathematician, academic, and Nobel Prize laureate John Forbes Nash, Jr. was born.
  • In 1929, illustrator Ralph McQuarrie was born. A lot of the imagery in science fiction and fantasy came from his mind.
  • In 1943, actor and producer Malcolm McDowell was born.
  • In 1951, actor Stellan Skarsgård was born.
  • In 1962, actress and author Ally Sheedy was born.
  • In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.
  • In 1967, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the United States Supreme Court.
  • In 1971, The New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers.
  • In 1978, the film version of Grease premiered.
  • In 1981, actor, producer, and Captain America Chris Evans was born.
  • In 1983, Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the central Solar System when it passed beyond the orbit of Neptune.
  • In 1986, child actresses, fashion designers, and businesswomen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born.
  • In 1994, a jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blamed recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.


June 13th is National Random Acts of Light Day in the United States.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
—Edith Wharton

National Random Acts of Light Day encourages people to bring light to the darkness of cancer by surprising someone with an act of kindness. After all, it takes just one gentle word or small token to help.

As part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walks fundraising campaign, Random Acts of Light brings awareness to the importance of providing cures. The organization also provides access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

A simple visit. A walk in the park. A fresh bouquet of flowers. A cup of coffee. Surprise someone you love by bringing a little light to their day.


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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