July 29, 2020
Day 211 of 366
July 29th is the 211th day of the year. It is International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.
And, no, I still haven’t (and never will) watch Tiger King.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Lasagna Day, National Lipstick Day, and National Chicken Wing Day.
Now I want wings for lunch.
Historical items of note:
- In 615, Kʼinich Janaabʼ Pakal ascended the throne of Palenque (anciently known as Lakamha, literally “Big Water”) at the age of 12.
- In 1775, the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps was founded when General George Washington appointed William Tudor as Judge Advocate of the Continental Army.
- In 1818, French physicist Augustin Fresnel submitted his prizewinning “Memoir on the Diffraction of Light”, precisely accounting for the limited extent to which light spreads into shadows, and thereby demolishing the oldest objection to the wave theory of light. Science!
- In 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in Paris, France.
- In 1907, Sir Robert Baden-Powell set up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England. The camp ran for eight days and is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement.
- In 1938, journalist and author Peter Jennings was born.
- In 1941, actor David Warner was born.
- In 1945, the BBC Light Programme radio station was launched for mainstream light entertainment and music.
- In 1948, after a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the Games of the XIV Olympiad opened in London. It was the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
- In 1953, director and producer Ken Burns was born.
- In 1954, The Fellowship of the Ring was first published, becoming the first volume of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.
- In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established.
- In 1958, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- In 1963, actress and producer Alexandra Paul was born.
- In 1972, actor, producer, and screenwriter Wil Wheaton was born.
- In 1973, Greeks voted to abolish the monarchy, beginning the first period of the Metapolitefsi.
- In 1981, a worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watched the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
- In 2005, astronomers announced their discovery of the dwarf planet Eris.
July 29 is National Anthem Day (Ziua Imnului național) in Romania.
The anthem is “Deșteaptă-te, române!”, which is variously translated as “Awaken thee, Romanian!”, “Awaken, Romanian!”, or “Wake up, Romanian!”. The lyrics were composed by Andrei Mureșanu and the music was chosen for the poem by Gheorghe Ucenescu, as the legend goes. It was written and published during the 1848 revolution, a liberal and nationalist uprising that sought to overturn the administration imposed by Imperial Russian authorities under the Regulamentul Organic regime.
The anthem’s first name was “Un răsunet”, which means “an echo” in English. After it was first sung in the city of Brașov, on the streets of Șchei quarter, it was immediately accepted as the revolutionary anthem and renamed “Deșteaptă-te, române!”
Since then, this song, which contains a message of liberty and patriotism, has been sung during all major Romanian conflicts, including during the 1989 anti-communist revolution. After the revolution, it became the national anthem on January 24, 1990, replacing the communist-era national anthem “Trei culori” (“Three colors”).
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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