The Thing About Today – August 22

August 22, 2020
Day 235 of 366


August 22nd is the 235th day of the year. It is Flag Day in Russia.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Surgical Oncologist Day, National Be An Angel Day, National Bao Day, Never Bean Better Day National Tooth Fairy Day, and National Pecan Torte Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1642, Charles I raised his standard in Nottingham, which marked the beginning of the English Civil War.
  • In 1780, James Cook’s ship HMS Resolution returned to England. Cook himself was killed in Hawaii during the voyage.
  • In 1791, the Haitian Slave Revolution began in Saint-Domingue, Haiti.
  • In 1851, the first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.
  • In 1862, French pianist and composer Claude Debussy was born.
  • In 1902, the Cadillac Motor Company was founded.
  • Also in 1902, Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to make a public appearance in an automobile.
  • In 1920, science fiction writer and screenwriter Ray Bradbury was born.
  • In 1925, actress Honor Blackman was born.
  • In 1922, Michael Collins, Commander-in-chief of the Irish Free State Army, was shot dead in an ambush during the Irish Civil War.
  • In 1932, the BBC began experimental regular TV broadcasts. It seems to have turned out well.
  • In 1963, singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer Tori Amos was born.
  • In 1973, actress, comedian, and screenwriter Kristen Wiig was born.
  • In 1978, the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment was passed by the United States Congress. The proposed amendment would have provided the District of Columbia with full voting representation in the Congress, the Electoral College, and regarding amending the Constitution. The proposed amendment failed to be ratified by enough states (ratified by 16, but needed 38) and failed to become part of the Constitution.
  • In 2004, versions of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.
  • In 2006, Grigori Perelman was awarded the Fields Medal for his proof of the Poincaré conjecture in mathematics but refused to accept the medal.


In 1639, Madras (now known as Chennai), India was founded by the British East India Company on a sliver of land bought from local Nayak rulers.

Madras is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and is one of the largest cultural, economic, and educational centers of south India. In 2011, it was the sixth-most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India, and (together with the adjoining regions) constitutes the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world.

Madras Day is a festival organized to commemorate the founding of the city. The celebration focuses on the city, its history, its past and its present. The celebration consists of events such as heritage walks, public talks, exhibitions, poetry reading sessions, public performances, food festivals, and special programs on local radio.


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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