The Thing About Today – July 3

July 3, 2020
Day 185 of 366


July 3rd is the 185th day of the year. It is Emancipation Day in the United States Virgin Islands. It commemorates the Danish Governor Peter von Scholten’s 1848 proclamation that “all unfree in the Danish West Indies are from today emancipated,” following a slave rebellion led by John Gottlieb (General Buddhoe) in Frederiksted, Saint Croix.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fried Clam Day, National Eat Your Beans Day, and National Chocolate Wafer Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1608, Québec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain.
  • In 1738, painter John Singleton Copley was born.
  • In 1844, the last pair of great auks were killed.
  • In 1852, the United States Congress established the country’s second mint in San Francisco.
  • In 1884, Dow Jones & Company published its first stock average.
  • In 1927, actor Tim O’Connor was born. You know him as that guy in ’70s and ’80s television.
  • In 1928, John Logie Baird demonstrated the first color television transmission in London.
  • In 1938, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lit the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.
  • In 1941, lawyer and activist Gloria Allred was born.
  • In 1943, actor Kurtwood Smith was born.
  • In 1947, journalist and author Dave Barry was born. I was introduced to his work through Harry Anderson and Dave’s World in the mid-1990s.
  • In 1952, the Constitution of Puerto Rico was approved by the United States Congress.
  • In 1962, actor and producer Tom Cruise was born.
  • In 1964, actress, voice actress, comedian, and writer Yeardley Smith was born.
  • In 1965, actress Connie Nielsen was born.
  • In 1969, the biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when the Soviet N-1 rocket exploded and subsequently destroyed its launchpad.
  • In 1976, actress Andrea Barber was born.
  • In 1980, actress Olivia Munn was born.
  • In 1985, Back to the Future premiered. Great Scott!
  • In 1996, British Prime Minister John Major announced the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland.


In 1944, Minsk, the capital of Belarus, was liberated from the Wehrmacht during the Minsk Offensive in World War II.

The offensive was part of the second phase of the Belorussian Strategic Offensive of the Red Army in the summer of 1944, commonly known as Operation Bagration. The Red Army encircled the German Fourth Army in Minsk, and Hitler ordered his troops to hold fast and declared the city to be a fortified place. The Soviet army attacked from the north-east, the east, and the south, killing 40,000 of the 100,000 Axis soldiers in Minsk. The result was a complete victory for the Red Army, the liberation of Minsk, and the rapid destruction of much of the German Army Group Centre.

As a result, the day is celebrated as Independence Day in Belarus, also known as Republic Day or Liberation 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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