The Thing About Today – September 20

September 20, 2020
Day 264 of 366


September 20th is the 264th day of the year. It is Universal Children’s Day in Germany. During the Cold War, East Germany (GDR) celebrated International Children’s Day (Internationaler Kindertag) on June 1st and West Germany (FRG) celebrated Universal Children’s Day (Weltkindertag) on September 20th. After the reunification of East and West Germany occurred in 1990, Universal Children’s Day become official for the whole of Germany. Some still celebrate Children’s Day on the former date, but public events pertaining to Children’s Day take place on September 20th.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fried Rice Day, National Pepperoni Pizza Day, National Punch Day, National String Cheese Day, and Wife Appreciation Day (typically observed on the third Sunday in September).


Historical items of note:

  • In 1595, Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.
  • In 1870, the Bersaglieri corps entered Rome through the Porta Pia, thus completing the unification of Italy.
  • In 1878, novelist, critic, and essayist Upton Sinclair was born.
  • In 1893, Charles Duryea and his brother road-tested the first American-made gasoline-powered automobile.
  • In 1928, animator, producer, and screenwriter Jay Ward was born. He founded Jay Ward Productions.
  • In 1934, actress Sophia Loren was born.
  • In 1941, Sylvester the cat debuted in the animated short “Notes to You”.
  • In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival was held. It had been delayed seven years due to World War II.
  • In 1948, novelist and short story writer George R. R. Martin was born.
  • In 1976, actor Jon Berenthal was born.
  • In 2001, in an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, United States President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror”. We’ve been embroiled in it ever since.
  • In 2011, the United States military ended its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing gay men and women to serve openly for the first time.


September 20th is Independence Day (also known as Republic Day or День независимости) in the partially recognized Republic of South Ossetia.

It commemorates South Ossetia’s declaration of independence from the Georgian SSR in 1990, and the country’s recognition as a sovereign state by Russia in 2008. South Ossetia first declared its independence from Georgia in 1920 following the Russian Revolution in Russia. After the Soviet Army invaded Georgia in 1921, the government declared South Ossetia an autonomous region within the Georgian SSR.

On September 20, 1990, the Council of People’s Deputies of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast adopted a declaration of sovereignty of the new republic. In 1992, South Ossetia proclaimed independence, and in August 2008, South Ossetia was recognized by Russia, Venezuela, Nauru, and Nicaragua, as well as other unrecognized counties such as Artsakh, Abkhazia, and Transnistria following the week-long Russo-Georgian War of 2008.


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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