August 27, 2020
Day 240 of 366
August 27th is the 240th day of the year. It is Independence Day in the Republic of Moldova as they commemorate their separation from the USSR in 1991.
Historical items of note:
- In 1832, Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk tribe of Native Americans, surrendered to United States authorities. This ended the Black Hawk War.
- In 1845, Hungarian architect Ödön Lechner was born. He designed the Museum of Applied Arts (the third-oldest applied arts museum in the world) and the Church of St Elisabeth (the famous Blue Church in Bratislava).
- In 1859, petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania. This led to the world’s first commercially successful oil well.
- In 1899, English novelist C. S. Forester was born. He was the author of the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars.
- In 1926, Norwegian computer scientist and academic Kristen Nygaard was born.
- In 1927, the Famous Five women filed a petition to the Supreme Court of Canada, asking, “Does the word ‘Persons’ in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?”
- In 1933, the first Afrikaans Bible was introduced during a Bible Festival in Bloemfontein.
- In 1944, actor G W Bailey was born.
- In 1947, actress Barbara Bach was born.
- In 1952, actor and comedian Paul Reubens was born. You may know him better as Pee-Wee Herman.
- In 1956, the nuclear power station at Calder Hall in the United Kingdom was connected to the national power grid, thus becoming the world’s first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale.
- In 1962, the Mariner 2 unmanned space mission was launched to Venus by NASA.
- In 1964, Disney’s Mary Poppins premiered.
- In 1976, actress Sarah Chalke was born.
August 27th is the Day of Russian Cinema (День Российского Кино).
Similar to the rise of technological and scientific developments in the Western world at the dawn of the 20th century, Russia witnessed the birth of cinema. The first Russian film to be shown was named Понизовая вольница (Southern Freedom) or Стенька Разин (Stenka Razin). It was a 10-minute silent film based on the life of Stepan Razin, a Cossack leader who fought against the nobility in 1670.
On August 27, 1919, the Council of People’s of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Совет Народных Комиссаров РСФСР) issued a decree that nationalized cinema and related activities, placing all photographic and cinematographic trades and industries under the umbrella of the National Education Committee. State authorities saw a powerful political tool in cinema.
The Day of Russian Cinema has been observed since 1980, initiated by Leonid Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, who was a fan of film. He even included American movies, which he spread across the Soviet Union.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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