The Thing About Today – September 29

September 29, 2020
Day 273 of 366


September 29th is the 273rd day of the year. It is Inventors’ Day in Argentina.


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Coffee Day and VFW Day. The coordination is superb.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1829, the Metropolitan Police of London, later also known as the Met, was founded. Their iconic police boxes were introduced by Met surveyor and architect Gilbert MacKenzie Trench that same year.
  • In 1901, Italian-American physicist and academic Enrico Fermi was born. He was the creator of the world’s first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the “architect of the nuclear age” and the “architect of the atomic bomb”. He was one of very few physicists to excel in both theoretical physics and experimental physics, and was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment and for the discovery of transuranium elements. He made significant contributions to the development of statistical mechanics, quantum theory, and nuclear and particle physics.
  • In 1904, actress Greer Garson was born.
  • In 1907, the cornerstone was laid at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, D.C. It would be better known as the Washington National Cathedral. Construction was completed on this same day in 1990.
  • In 1913, actor Trevor Howard was born.
  • In 1935, singer-songwriter and pianist Jerry Lee Lewis was born.
  • In 1939, actor Larry Linville was born. He was Major Frank Burns on M*A*S*H.
  • In 1942, actress and singer Madeline Khan was born.
  • Also in 1942, actor Ian McShane was born.
  • In 1944, composer and producer Mike Post was born. If you watched television in the 1980s and 1990s, you know his work.
  • In 1948, Hamlet premiered at the Park Avenue Cinema. It starred and was directed by Sir Laurence Olivier.
  • In 1954, the convention establishing CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) was signed.
  • Also in 1954, actress Cindy Morgan was born.
  • Also in 1954, A Star is Born starring Judy Garland and James Mason premiered.
  • In 1957, the Kyshtym disaster occurred, becoming the third-worst nuclear accident ever recorded. The explosion spread hot particles over more than 20,000 square miles in the Soviet Union.
  • In 1969, actress and model Erika Eleniak was born. Most know her from Baywatch, but I know her as the girl that Elliott kissed in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
  • In 1975, WGPR of Detroit, Michigan became the first black-owned-and-operated television station in the United States.
  • Also in 1975, Sharon Dahlonega Bush became American television’s first African American weathercaster.
  • In 1980, actor and singer Zachary Levi was born.
  • In 1985, MacGyver premiered on television.
  • In 1988, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-26, the first mission since the Challenger disaster.
  • In 2004, the asteroid 4179 Toutatis passed within four lunar distances of Earth.
  • In 2007, Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, was demolished in a controlled explosion. It was opened in 1956 and was closed in 2003 after 47 years of operation.


September 29th is World Heart Day, an observance started by the World Heart Federation in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death.

The World Heart Federation (WHF) is a nongovernmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1978 the International Society of Cardiology merged with the International Cardiology Federation (which had been founded in 1970) to form the International Society and Federation of Cardiology. This body changed its name in 1998 to the World Heart Federation. The Federation hosts the World Congress of Cardiology.


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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