June 23, 2020
Day 175 of 366
June 23rd is the 175th day of the year. In Canada, it is the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, which commemorates the anniversary of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland. It is International Widows Day, a United Nations ratified day of action to address the “poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries”.
Historical items of note:
- In 1611, the mutinous crew of Henry Hudson’s fourth voyage set Henry, his son, and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay. The Hudsons and their companions were never heard from again.
- In 1794, Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.
- In 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the “Type-Writer.”
- In 1912, Alan Turing was born. The English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist was the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
- In 1926, the College Board administered the first SAT exam.
- In 1938, the Civil Aeronautics Act was signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the United States.
- In 1957, actress Frances McDormand was born.
- In 1960, the United States Food and Drug Administration declared Enovid to be the first officially approved combined oral contraceptive pill in the world.
- In 1961, the Antarctic Treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned military activity on the continent, came into force 18 months after the window for signature was set.
- In 1964, screenwriter, director, and producer Joss Whedon was born.
- In 1969, IBM announced that it would price its software and services separately from hardware starting in January 1970. This created the modern software industry.
- In 1972, Title IX of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to prohibit sexual discrimination to any educational program receiving federal funds.
- In 1974, actor Joel Edgerton was born.
- In 1975, Scottish singer-songwriter and musician KT Tunstall was born.
- In 1989, Batman premiered.
- In 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog was released to American audiences. It was released to the rest of the world a month later, thus kickstarting the successful Sonic franchise.
- In 2013, Nik Wallenda became the first man to successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope.
June 23rd is United Nations Public Service Day.
The UN Public Service Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution to “celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”. The United Nations Economic and Social Council established that the United Nations Public Service Awards be bestowed on Public Service Day for contributions made to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige, and visibility of public service.
The day also marks the anniversary of the date when the International Labour Organization adopted the Convention on Labour Relations (Public Service), 1978 (No. 151). This Convention is a framework for determining the working conditions of all civil servants across the world.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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