The Thing About Today – June 22

June 22, 2020
Day 174 of 366


June 22nd is the 174th day of the year. In Belarus, it is the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Great Patriotic War. It is a solemn remembrance of all the victims of the Second World War, and a commemoration of the heroic last stand of Brest Fortress in 1941, on the very country and city in which the Eastern Front began. In Croatia, it is Anti-Fascist Struggle Day, which marks the beginning of the uprising of Croatian anti-fascist Partisans against German and Italian occupying forces that started with the forming of the First Sisak Partisan Detachment on June 22, 1941, near Sisak, Croatia.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Chocolate Eclair Day and National HVAC Tech Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1633, the Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe in the form he presented it in, after heated controversy.
  • In 1813, after learning of American plans for a surprise attack on Beaver Dams in Ontario, Laura Secord set out on a 30-kilometer journey on foot to warn British Lieutenant James FitzGibbon.
  • In 1839, Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot were assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota. The treaty had resulted in the Trail of Tears.
  • In 1870, the United States Department of Justice was created by the United States Congress.
  • In 1936, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor Kris Kristofferson was born.
  • In 1942, the Pledge of Allegiance was formally adopted by the United States Congress. The words “under God” were not added until 1954.
  • In 1944, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.
  • In 1947, author Octavia E. Butler was born.
  • In 1949, actress Meryl Streep was born.
  • Also in 1949, actress Lindsay Wagner was born.
  • Also in 1949, academic and politician Elizabeth Warren was born.
  • In 1953, singer-songwriter, producer, and actress Cyndi Lauper was born.
  • In 1956, actor, director, and screenwriter Tim Russ was born.
  • In 1958, actor, director, producer and writer Bruce Campbell was born.
  • In 1960, lawyer and environmentalist Erin Brockovich was born.
  • In 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to water pollution, and spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • In 1971, actress and comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub was born.
  • In 1974, actor Donald Faison was born.
  • In 1977, The Rescuers premiered. It was the first Disney film to get a sequel.
  • In 1978, Charon, the first of Pluto’s satellites to be discovered, was first seen at the United States Naval Observatory by James W. Christy.
  • In 1990, Checkpoint Charlie was dismantled in Berlin.
  • In 2018, comedian John Oliver was blocked on Chinese social media after parodying Chinese leader Xi Jinping.


June 22nd is (unofficially) National Onion Rings Day in the United States.

An onion ring is an appetizer or side dish in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and some parts of Asia, mainland Europe, and Latin America. They are made by cutting an onion into rings, dipping them in batter or bread crumbs, and then deep-frying them until golden and crispy.

On the science side of the house, the cooking process decomposes the propanethial oxide in the onion into a sweet-smelling and sweet-tasting bispropenyl disulfide, removing the bite and creating an addictive dish.

The exact origins are unknown, but there are several possibilities:

  • A recipe called “Fried Onions with Parmesan Cheese” was included in John Mollard’s 1802 cookbook The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined. The recipe suggests cutting onions into 1/2 inch rings, dipping them into a batter made of flour, cream, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese then deep-frying them in boiling lard. It also recommends serving them with a sauce made of melted butter and mustard.
  • Some believe that a recipe for French Fried Onions (though not claiming to be the originator of the recipe) appeared in the Middletown NY Daily Times on January 13, 1910.
  • The Pig Stand restaurant chain, established in Oak Cliff, Texas in the early 1920s, is one of the claimants to the onion rings invention.
  • A recipe for deep-fried onion rings dipped in milk then dredged in flour appeared in a 1933 Crisco advertisement in The New York Times Magazine.  
  • In the 1960s, the A&W restaurant is credited with popularizing the onion rings in fast food restaurants.

Regardless of the origin, the tasty treat is best served hot and directly from the fryer with the sauce and spices of your choice.


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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