September 17, 2020
Day 261 of 366
September 17th is the 261st day of the year. It is Batman Day, an annual observance begun by DC Comics in 2014 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics in 1939. The day was chosen to coincide with San Diego Comic-Con, and subsequent observances have been on the third Saturday in September.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Professional House Cleaners Day, National Apple Dumpling Day, National Monte Cristo Day, and National Pawpaw Day (typically observed on the third Thursday in September).
Historical items of note:
- In 1630, the city of Boston, Massachusetts was founded by Puritan settlers. It was named after the city of the same name in Lincolnshire, England.
- In 1776, the Presidio of San Francisco was founded in New Spain.
- In 1849, American abolitionist Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery.
- In 1900, businessman J. Willard Marriott was born. He founded the Marriott Corporation.
- In 1908, the Wright Flyer, flown by Orville Wright with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as a passenger, crashed. Selfridge died, becoming the first airplane fatality.
- In 1928, actor Roddy McDowall was born.
- In 1945, actor Bruce Spence was born.
- In 1949, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote made their Looney Tunes debut in a short named “Fast and Furry-ous”.
- In 1951, actress Cassandra Peterson was born. She is better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
- In 1954, the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding was first published.
- In 1964, Bewitched premiered on television.
- In 1965, actor Kyle Chandler was born.
- In 1966, Mission: Impossible premiered on television.
- In 1972, the television version of M*A*S*H premiered.
- In 1976, the Space Shuttle Enterprise was unveiled by NASA.
- In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.
- In 1991, the first version of the Linux kernel was released to the Internet.
In 1787, the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia.
It marked the end of the Constitutional Convention, which started on May 25th. During that time, the 55 delegates debated the duties of the government, checks, and balances, and the rights and freedoms of the people. They divided the government into three branches – legislative to make the laws, executive to execute the laws, and the judicial to interpret the laws – and established a Bill of Rights, which comprises the first ten amendments to the document and enumerated the rights and freedoms of the people.
On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution. The process of obtaining each state’s approval began, and since Rhode Island didn’t send any delegates to the Constitutional Convention because they wanted to hold on to their independence as long as they could, they were the last state to ratify the Constitution on May 29, 1790.
September 17th commemorates the end of the Constitutional Convention, recognizing the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become American citizens, in an observance called Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Citizenship Day was formerly observed on the third Sunday in May.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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