The Thing About Today – August 13

August 13, 2020
Day 226 of 366


August 13th is the 226th day of the year. It is Independence Day in the Central African Republic as they celebrate their separation from France in 1960.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Prosecco Day and National Filet Mignon Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1532, the Duchy of Brittany was absorbed into the Kingdom of France.
  • In 1650, Colonel George Monck of the English Army formed Monck’s Regiment of Foot, which would later become the Coldstream Guards.
  • In 1860, sharpshooter Annie Oakley was born.
  • In 1898, Carl Gustav Witt discovered 433 Eros, the first near-Earth asteroid to be found.
  • In 1899, English-American director and producer Alfred Hitchcock was born.
  • In 1906, the all-black infantrymen of the United States Army’s 25th Infantry Regiment were accused of killing a white bartender and wounding a white police officer in Brownsville, Texas. Despite exculpatory evidence, all of them were later dishonorably discharged. Their records were later restored to reflect honorable discharges but there were no financial settlements.
  • In 1918, women enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for the first time. Opha May Johnson was the first woman to enlist.
  • Also in 1918, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG was established as a public company in Germany. It’s better known as BMW.
  • In 1930, singer and ukulele player Don Ho was born.
  • In 1942, Major General Eugene Reybold of the United States Army Corps of Engineers authorized the construction of facilities that would house the “Development of Substitute Materials” project, better known as the Manhattan Project.
  • In 1954, Radio Pakistan broadcasted the “Qaumī Tarāna”, the national anthem of Pakistan, for the first time.
  • In 1961, East Germany closed the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin to thwart its inhabitants’ attempts to escape to the West. Construction of the Berlin Wall was started.
  • Also in 1961, Japanese composer and sound director Koji Kondo was born.
  • In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts enjoyed a ticker-tape parade in New York City. That evening, at a state dinner in Los Angeles, they were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by United States President Richard Nixon.
  • In 1983, actor Sebastian Stan was born. So, I’m also older than the Winter Soldier…


August 13th is International Left-Handers Day, a day that (as it says on the tin) celebrates the uniqueness and differences of the left-handers.

The day was first observed in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, founder of the Lefthanders International, Inc. International Left Hander’s Day was created to celebrate sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world.

It celebrates left-handed people’s uniqueness and differences, a subset of humanity estimated at seven to ten percent of the world’s population. The day also spread awareness on issues faced by left-handers, such as the importance of the special needs for left-handed children, and the likelihood for left-handers to develop schizophrenia. Left-handers also used to be persecuted since the direction of the left is associated with evil by some people.

There are approximately 708 million left-handed people in the world, and men are more likely to be left-handed than women.


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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