July 27, 2020
Day 209 of 366
July 27th is the 209th day of the year. It is Remembrance Day in Vietnam, also known as Day for Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Love is Kind Day, National Scotch Day, National Crème Brûlée Day, and National New Jersey Day.
Historical items of note:
- In 1741, French-English violinist and composer François-Hippolyte Barthélémon was born.
- In 1775, the United States Army Medical Department was founded by the Second Continental Congress. The legislation established “an hospital for an army consisting of 20,000 men.”
- In 1789, the first United States federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, was established. It would later be renamed as the Department of State.
- In 1866, the first permanent transatlantic telegraph cable was successfully completed, stretching from Valentia Island, Ireland, to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland.
- In 1882, English pilot and engineer Geoffrey de Havilland was born. He founded the de Havilland Aircraft Company.
- In 1890, Vincent van Gogh shots himself. He died two days later.
- In 1919, the Chicago Race Riot erupted with the murder of Eugene Williams, an African-American 17-year-old who inadvertently drifted on a raft into a white swimming area at an informally segregated beach. The riots led to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.
- In 1921, researchers at the University of Toronto, led by biochemist Frederick Banting, proved that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.
- In 1922, screenwriter and producer Norman Lear was born.
- In 1938, game designer Gary Gygax was born. He co-created Dungeons & Dragons.
- In 1940, the animated short A Wild Hare was released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.
- In 1942, Allied forces successfully halted the final Axis advance into Egypt.
- In 1949, the initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner, occurred at Hatfield Aerodrome. The flight lasted 31 minutes.
- In 1963, Chinese-Hong Kong actor, director, producer, and martial artist Donnie Yen was born.
- In 1970, Danish actor and producer Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was born.
- In 1972, actress Maya Rudolph.
- In 1974, the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.
- In 1977, actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers was born.
- In 1996, a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Security guard Richard Jewell was initially investigated as a suspect and pursued by the press, but the bombing was later attributed as the first of four bombings committed by Eric Rudolph. The bomber pleaded guilty to numerous state and federal homicide charges and accepted four consecutive life sentences in exchange for avoiding a trial and a potential death sentence.
In 1953, cessation of hostilities was achieved in the Korean War when the United States, China, and North Korea signed an armistice agreement. Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, refused to sign but pledged to observe the armistice.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea. It lasted for just over three years.
At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States liberated Korea from imperial Japanese colonial control. After the war had ended, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into two zones of occupation: The Soviets administered the northern half and the Americans administered the southern half.
With the border set at the 38th parallel in 1948, two sovereign states were established as a result of geopolitical tensions of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. The north established a socialist state under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung, and the south established a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent.
After the border was breached and the war began, the United Nations Security Council authorized the formation of the United Nations Command and the dispatch of forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
When the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, it created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. No peace treaty was ever signed, so the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict.
In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the DMZ and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War.
In 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, which is observed every year on this date in memory of those who died, were wounded, and were taken as prisoners of war during the conflict.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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