The Thing About Today – August 3

August 3, 2020
Day 216 of 366


August 3rd is the 216th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Niger as they commemorate their 1960 separation from France.

We only have 150 days left in 2020.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Georgia Day, National Watermelon Day, and National Grab Some Nuts Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1527, the first known letter from North America was sent by John Rut while at St. John’s, Newfoundland.
  • In 1678, Robert LaSalle built the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.
  • In 1778, the theatre La Scala in Milan was inaugurated with the première of Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta.
  • In 1852, Harvard University won the first Boat Race between Yale University and Harvard. The race was also the first American intercollegiate athletic event.
  • In 1859, the American Dental Association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York.
  • In 1903, Macedonian rebels in Kruševo proclaimed the Kruševo Republic. It existed for only ten days before Ottoman Turks laid waste to the town.
  • In 1911, actor Alex McCrindle was born.
  • In 1940, actor and producer Martin Sheen was born.
  • In 1946, Santa Claus Land, the world’s first themed amusement park, opened in Santa Claus, Indiana.
  • In 1950, actor, director, producer, and screenwriter John Landis was born.
  • Also in 1950, actress Jo Marie Payton was born.
  • In 1955, voice actor Corey Burton was born.
  • In 1958, the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), became the first vessel to complete a submerged transit of the geographical North Pole.
  • In 1959, actor and producer John C. McGinley was born.
  • In 1977, the Tandy Corporation announced the TRS-80, one of the world’s first mass-produced personal computers.
  • In 1979, actress Evangeline Lilly was born.
  • In 1997, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, opened after two-and-a-half years of construction.
  • In 2001, The Princess Diaries was released.


In 1959, The Pidjiguiti (Pijiguiti) massacre took place in Bissau, Portuguese Guinea.

Dock workers at the Port of Bissau’s Pijiguiti docks went on strike while seeking higher pay, but the manager called the Portuguese state police (PIDE). Officers fired into the crowd and killed 25 people, and the government blamed the revolutionary group PAIGC, known as the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, or in Portuguese, Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde.

After the arrests of several PAIGC members, the incident caused PAIGC to abandon their campaign of nonviolent resistance, leading to the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence in 1963. Towards the end of the war, the party established a Marxist–Leninist one-party state, which remained intact until multi-party democracy was introduced in the early 1990s.

The anniversary of the massacre is a public day of remembrance in Guinea-Bissau. Near the docks, there is a large black fist known as the Hand of Timba which was erected as a memorial to those killed.


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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