The Thing About Today – July 16

July 16, 2020
Day 198 of 366


July 16th is the 198th day of the year. It is Holocaust Memorial Day in France.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Corn Fritters Day, National Personal Chef’s Day, and Get to Know Your Customers Day (which is still observed on the third Thursday of each quarter).


Historical items of note:

  • In 622, the Islamic calendar began.
  • In 1661, the first banknotes in Europe were issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.
  • In 1769, Father Junípero Serra founded California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Over the following decades, it evolved into the city of San Diego, California (which is one of my favorite Navy cities).
  • In 1790, the District of Columbia was established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.
  • In 1862, David Farragut was promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.
  • Also in 1862, Ida B. Wells was born. A journalist and activist, she was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • In 1907, farmer and businessman Orville Redenbacher was born. He founded the famous popcorn company.
  • Also in 1907, actress Barbara Stanwyck was born.
  • In 1910, John Robertson Duigan made the first flight of the Duigan pusher biplane, the first aircraft built in Australia.
  • In 1935, the world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • In 1945, the Atomic Age began when the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon as part of the Manhattan Project near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
  • In 1946, actor Richard LeParmentier was born.
  • In 1963, actress Phoebe Cates was born.
  • In 1967, actor and comedian Will Ferrell was born.
  • In 1969, Apollo 11 was launched from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida. It would become the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon.
  • In 2017, the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker would take on the role of the Doctor, becoming the first female lead of the long-running Doctor Who franchise.


July 16th is Engineer’s Day in Honduras.

Only one of many such observances on various days around the world, Engineer’s Day recognizes the  professionals who invent, design, analyze, build, and test machines, complex systems, structures, gadgets, and materials. All of these functions fulfill functional objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.

Engineers design and build everything that keeps the world moving, from power systems to machines, information systems, and infrastructure. This work forms the link between scientific discoveries and their subsequent applications to human and business needs and quality of life.

As of November 20, 2019, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) designated March 4th as “World Engineering Day for a Sustainable World”.


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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