The Thing About Today – July 30

July 30, 2020
Day 212 of 366


July 30th is the 212th day of the year. Today, Vanuatu commemorates its independence from the United Kingdom and France in 1980.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Cheesecake Day, National Father-in-Law Day, National Whistleblower Day, National Chili Dog Day, and National Intern Day. The last two are typically observed on the last Thursday in July.


Historical items of note:

  • In 762, Baghdad was founded.
  • In 1729, Baltimore, Maryland was founded.
  • In 1818, English novelist and poet Emily Brontë was born.
  • In 1863, representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (of the Shoshone) signed the Treaty of Box Elder. The treaty called for peaceable relations between the two groups and contained a promise by the United States to pay the Shoshone $5,000 yearly as compensation for the “utter destitution” inflicted by war. It also recognizes the claim of Chief Pocatello and his people to the land “bounded on the west by the Raft River and on the east by the Porteneuf Mountains”. An amendment introduced at ratification counteracted the land claim, leaving the Native Americans high and dry as they were forcefully ejected from areas they attempted to settle within their supposed territory.
  • In 1929, Canadian-American puppeteer and producer Sid Krofft was born.
  • In 1932, Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees premiered. It was the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award-winning cartoon short.
  • In 1947, actor and producer William Atherton was born. He was the much-despised Walter Peck in Ghostbusters.
  • Also in 1947, Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born. He was the 38th Governor of California.
  • In 1956, a joint resolution of the United States Congress was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto. It replaced E pluribus unum as the motto, and was an attempt to distinguish the country from its Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union.
  • Also in 1956, actress Delta Burke was born.
  • In 1961, actor and producer Laurence Fishburne was born.
  • In 1962, the Trans-Canada Highway, the longest national highway in the world, was officially opened.
  • In 1963, actress and producer Lisa Kudrow was born.
  • In 1964, actress Vivica A. Fox was born.
  • In 1965, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
  • In 1970, director, producer, and screenwriter Christopher Nolan was born.
  • In 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Falcon on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.
  • In 1974, actress and producer Hilary Swank was born. I recently saw her in a tearjerker called You’re Not You.
  • In 1982, Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski was born.
  • In 2003, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Mexico.
  • In 2006, the world’s longest-running music show, Top of the Pops, was broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years.


July 30th is International Friendship Day.

It was first proposed in 1958 in Paraguay as the “International Friendship Day”, and was initially promoted by the greeting card industry. With the advent of social networking, interest grew as the internet spread the concept worldwide. India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia are particular examples of countries that embrace the custom.

The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards, and wrist bands is a popular tradition. Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries, the first World Friendship Day was proposed this date in 1958 by the World Friendship Crusade. On April 27, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30th as official International Friendship 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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