The Thing About Today – August 24

August 24, 2020
Day 237 of 366


August 24th is the 237th day of the year. It is Den’ Nezalezhnosti in Ukraine, which celebrates the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is also the observance of Willka Raymi (in the Quechua language, literally the feast of the god) which is celebrated in the Cusco Region in Peru. It is the representation of the traditional offering ceremony to Pachamama.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Maryland Day, National Peach Pie Day, and National Waffle Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1662, the Act of Uniformity came into effect, requiring England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.
  • In 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C. During the Burning of Washington, the White House, the Capitol, and many other buildings were set ablaze.
  • In 1891, Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera.
  • In 1932, Amelia Earhart flew from Los Angeles, California to Newark, New Jersey, becoming the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop.
  • In 1934, actor Kenny Baker was born. He would be the man in the can as R2-D2 in the Star Wars films.
  • In 1949, the treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization went into effect.
  • In 1950, Edith Sampson became the first black delegate from the United States to the United Nations.
  • In 1957, actor, journalist, producer, and screenwriter Stephen Fry was born.
  • In 1958, actor and producer Steve Guttenberg was born.
  • In 1963, Japanese director, screenwriter, video game designer, and video game producer Hideo Kojima was born.
  • In 1965, actress Marlee Matlin was born.
  • In 1972, director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay was born.
  • In 1974, actress Jennifer Lien was born.
  • In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
  • In 1988, actor Rupert Grint was born.
  • In 1995, Microsoft Windows 95 was released to the public in North America.
  • In 1998, the first radio-frequency identification (RFID) human implantation testing occurred in the United Kingdom.
  • In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term “planet”. As a result, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet.


August 24th is International Strange Music Day, a creation of musician Patrick Grant.

Patrick Grant, a Detroit-born American composer living and working in New York City, works with a synthesis of classical, popular, and world musical styles. His work has been showcased in concert halls, film, theater, dance, and visual media, and has moved from post-punk and classically bent post-minimal styles, arcing through Balinese-inspired gamelan and microtonality, to ambient, electronic soundscapes involving many layers of acoustic and electronically amplified instruments.

Known as a producer and co-producer of live musical events, he has presented many concerts of his own and other composers, including a 2013 Guinness World Record-breaking performance of 175 electronic keyboards in New York City.


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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