July 6, 2020
Day 188 of 366
July 6th is the 188th day of the year. It is International Kissing Day, a practice that originated in the United Kingdom and was adopted worldwide in the 2000s. Who knew that they loved kissing so much?
Historical items of note:
- In 1348, Pope Clement VI issued a papal bull protecting the Jews accused of having caused the Black Death.
- In 1560, the Treaty of Edinburgh was signed by Scotland and England.
- In 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tested his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
- In 1887, David Kalākaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution. This act transferred much of the king’s authority to the Legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
- In 1892, three thousand eight hundred striking steelworkers engaged in a day-long battle with Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike, leaving ten dead and dozens wounded.
- In 1919, the British dirigible R34 landed in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.
- In 1925, actor, singer, and producer Merv Griffin was born. He created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.
- In 1927, actress and author Janet Leigh was born.
- In 1937, actor Ned Beatty was born.
- In 1944, Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of a bus, eventually leading to a court-martial. It was one of several racist attacks levied against him during his time in the Army. He was acquitted and later honorably discharged.
- In 1945, actor Burt Ward was born. He portrayed Robin in the 1960s Batman series.
- In 1951, actor and producer Geoffrey Rush was born.
- In 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.
- In 1978, actresses, producers, and twins Tia and Tamera Mowry were born.
- In 1979, actor and comedian Kevin Hart was born.
- In 1980, actress Eva Green was born.
- In 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded.
- In 1994, Forrest Gump premiered.
July 6th is Kupala Night, a traditional eastern Slavic holiday that is celebrated in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Russia.
The name of the holiday was originally Kupala, a pagan fertility rite later adapted into the Orthodox Christian calendar by connecting it with St. John’s Day. The Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian name of this holiday combines “Ivan” (John, which in this case is John the Baptist) and Kupala which was thought to be derived from the Slavic word for bathing.
The tradition of Kupala predates Christianity. The pagan celebration was adapted and reestablished as one of the native Christian traditions intertwined with local folklore.
The holiday is still enthusiastically celebrated by the younger people of Eastern Europe. The night preceding the holiday (Tvorila night) is considered the night for “good humor” mischiefs (which sometimes would raise the concern of law enforcement agencies). On Ivan Kupala day itself, children engage in water fights and perform pranks, mostly involving pouring water over people.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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