June 16, 2020
Day 168 of 366
June 16th is the 168th day of the year. It is the Day of the African Child, an observance started in 1991 by the Organisation of African Unity. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 and raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fudge Day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1829, Apache leader Geronimo was born.
- In 1846, the Papal conclave elected Pope Pius IX, beginning the longest reign in the history of the papacy.
- In 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois.
- In 1902, geneticist, academic, and Nobel Prize laureate Barbara McClintock was born.
- In 1903, Roald Amundsen left Oslo, Norway, to commence the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage.
- In 1911, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) was founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York.
- In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho premiered.
- In 1962, actor Arnold Vosloo was born.
- In 1963, the Vostok 6 mission launched, making cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space.
- In 1972, the largest single-site hydroelectric power project in Canada was inaugurated at Churchill Falls Generating Station.
- In 1977, the Oracle Corporation was incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, as Software Development Laboratories (SDL), by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates.
- In 1978, actor Daniel Brühl was born.
- In 1989, Ghostbusters II premiered.
- In 2012, China successfully launched its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts, including the first female Chinese astronaut Liu Yang, to the Tiangong-1 orbital module.
- Also in 2012, the United States Air Force’s robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returned to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.
June 16th is celebrated as Bloomsday, a commemoration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce.
In 1904, Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle, his soon-to-be-wife, and subsequently uses the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses. In Dublin, the day involves a range of cultural activities, including Ulysses readings and dramatizations, pub crawls, and other events. Some of the events are hosted by the James Joyce Centre, and enthusiasts often dress in Edwardian costume to celebrate. Hard-core devotees have even been known to hold marathon readings of the entire novel, some lasting up to 36 hours.
The day is named after the novel’s protagonist Leopold Bloom.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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