June 21, 2020
Day 173 of 366
June 21st is the 173rd day of the year. It is Father’s Day in the United States, which occurs on the third Sunday in June.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Peaches ‘N’ Cream Day, National Day of the Gong, Go Skateboarding Day, National Daylight Appreciation Day, National Selfie Day, National Arizona Day, and Turkey Lovers’ Day (which is typically observed on the third Sunday in June).
Turkey Lover’s Day and Father’s Day on the same day? Surely a coincidence.
Historical items of note:
- In 1749, Halifax, Nova Scotia was founded.
- In 1898, the United States captured Guam from Spain. The Capture of Guam was a bloodless engagement during the Spanish-American War. The United States Navy sent a single cruiser, USS Charleston (C-2), to capture the island of Guam. The Spanish garrison on the island had no knowledge of the war and no real ability to resist the American forces. They surrendered without resistance.
- In 1905, French philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre was born.
- In 1915, the United States Supreme Court decided Guinn v. United States, striking down Oklahoma grandfather clause legislation which had the effect of denying the right to vote to blacks.
- In 1932, Argentinian pianist, composer, and conductor Lalo Schifrin was born. I think of him every time I hear the Mission: Impossible theme.
- In 1944, director and producer Tony Scott was born.
- In 1957, author and illustrator Berkeley Breathed was born. He created Bloom Country, Outland, and Opus. Bill the Cat says “Ack!”
- In 1964, actor and director David Morrissey was born.
- In 1965, director, producer, and screenwriter Lana Wachowski was born.
- In 1978, the original production of Evita, the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the life of Eva Perón, opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London.
- Also in 1978, actress Erica Durance was born.
- In 1979, actor Chris Pratt was born.
- In 1989, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. Johnson that American flag-burning was a form of political protest protected by the First Amendment.
- In 2000, Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which outlawed the “promotion” of homosexuality in the United Kingdom, was repealed in Scotland with a 99 to 17 vote.
- In 2006, Pluto’s newly discovered moons were officially named Nix and Hydra.
June 21st is World Humanist Day. The holiday is celebrated annually around the world at the June solstice and is used as a way of spreading awareness of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world.
Humanism is a philosophical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, both individually and collectively. The meaning has fluctuated over time, but generally, it refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. It views humans as solely responsible for the promotion and development of individuals and emphasizes a concern for man in relation to the world.
In modern times, the movements are typically non-religious and aligned with secularism, centered on human agency and using science rather than revelation from a supernatural source to understand the world.
The holiday developed during the 1980s as several chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began to celebrate it. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the AHA and IHEU passed resolutions declaring World Humanist Day to be on the northern summer solstice.
It is seen as a time for Humanists to gather socially and promote the positive values of Humanism.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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