The Thing About Today – August 29

August 29, 2020
Day 242 of 366


August 29th is the 242nd day of the year. It is Telugu Language Day in India, commemorating the birthday in 1863 of Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy. He was a Telugu writer and one of the earliest modern Telugu linguists and social visionaries during the British rule. He championed the cause of using a language comprehensible to the common man (‘Vyavaharika Bhasha’) as opposed to the scholastic language (‘Grandhika Bhasha’).


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Chop Suey Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 708, copper coins were minted in Japan for the first time. The traditional Japanese date for this event is August 10, 708.
  • In 1632, English physician and philosopher John Locke was born. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the “Father of Liberalism”.
  • In 1786, Shays’ Rebellion, an armed uprising of Massachusetts farmers, began in response to high debt and tax burdens.
  • In 1831, Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction.
  • In 1898, the Goodyear tire company was founded.
  • In 1915, United States Navy salvage divers raised F-4 (SS-23), the first United States submarine sunk in an accident.
  • In 1923, English actor, director, and producer Richard Attenborough was born.
  • In 1938, actor and producer Elliott Gould was born.
  • In 1939, director, producer, and screenwriter Joel Schumacher was born.
  • In 1958, the United States Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • In 1959, actress Rebecca De Mornay was born.
  • Also in 1959, astronaut Chris Hadfield was born.
  • In 1965, the Gemini V spacecraft returned to Earth and landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • In 1971, actress Carla Gugino was born.
  • In 1982, the synthetic chemical element Meitnerium (atomic number 109) was first synthesized at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.
  • In 1997, Netflix was launched as an internet DVD rental service.


August 29th is the International Day against Nuclear Tests, established on December 2, 2009, by the United Nations.

The resolution called for increasing awareness “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world”. The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan together with several sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991.

Following the establishment of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, in May 2010 all state parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons committed themselves to “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”.


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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