August 25, 2020
Day 238 of 366
August 25th is the 238th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Uruguay as they celebrate their separation from Brazil in 1825.
Historical items of note:
- In 1609, Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.
- In 1814, on the second day of the Burning of Washington, British troops torched the Library of Congress, United States Treasury, Department of War, and other public buildings.
- In 1835, the first Great Moon Hoax article was published in The New York Sun, announcing the discovery of life and civilization on the Moon.
- In 1894, Kitasato Shibasaburō discovered the infectious agent of the bubonic plague and published his findings in The Lancet.
- In 1909, actor Michael Rennie was born.
- In 1916, the United States National Park Service was created.
- In 1918, pianist, composer, and conductor Leonard Bernstein was born.
- In 1921, Canadian-American television personality and game show host Monty Hall was born.
- In 1930, Scottish actor and producer Sean Connery was born. He was the first official James Bond, an immortal Scottish-Egyptian Spaniard, a security officer in space, a Russian submarine captain, Indy’s dad, and so many more characters.
- In 1933, actor Tom Skerritt was born.
- In 1939, actor, director, and producer John Badham was born.
- In 1958, director, producer, and screenwriter Tim Burton was born.
- In 1961, actress Joanne Whalley was born.
- In 1964, television writer and producer Marti Noxon was born.
- In 1981, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn.
- In 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune. It was the last planet in the Solar System at the time due to Pluto being within Neptune’s orbit from 1979 to 1999.
- In 1991, Linus Torvalds announced the first version of what would become Linux.
- In 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space, thus becoming the first man-made object to do so.
August 25th is Liberation Day in France.
The date commemorates the Liberation of Paris (Libération de Paris), a World War II military battle that started on August 19, 1944 and ended six days later when the Nazi garrison surrendered Paris.
The liberation began when the French Forces of the Interior, the military structure of the French Resistance, staged an uprising against the Nazis as General George Patton’s Third Army approached. On the night of August 24th, elements of General Philippe Leclerc’s 2nd French Armored Division made their way into Paris and arrived at the Hôtel de Ville. The next morning, the bulk of the 2nd Armored Division and American 4th Infantry Division entered the city. Military governor of Paris and garrison commander Dietrich von Choltitz surrendered at the Hôtel Meurice.
General Charles de Gaulle of the French Army arrived to assume control of the city, operating as head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic. The fighting continued across France, but the politically divided French Resistance, Gaullists, nationalists, communists, and anarchists were united.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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