The Thing About Today – October 4

October 4, 2020
Day 278 of 366


October 4th is the 278th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Lesotho, formerly Basutoland, as they celebrate leaving the United Kingdom in 1966.

It is also the beginning of World Space Week, “an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.”


In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Cinnamon Bun Day, National Taco Day, National Golf Lover’s Day, National Vodka Day, World Smile Day, and National GOE Day (which is typically observed on the Sunday of the first full weekend in October).

What is GOE? It stands for “Growth. Overcome. Empower.” It encourages us to support safe spaces of healing and connection for those who have been victimized by abuse and trauma, and focuses on healing, recovery and providing resources that support overcoming these overwhelming obstacles in life.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1582, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII.
  • In 1824, Mexico adopted a new constitution and became a federal republic.
  • In 1883, the first run of the Orient Express occurred.
  • In 1895, film actor, director, and producer Buster Keaton was born.
  • In 1924, American soldier and author Donald J. Sobol was born. He created the Encyclopedia Brown children’s book series.
  • In 1927, Gutzon Borglum began sculpting Mount Rushmore. He is also known for Stone Mountain in Georgia, the statue of Union General Phillip Sheridan in Washington, D.C., a bust of Abraham Lincoln which was exhibited in the White House by Theodore Roosevelt, and being deeply involved with the Ku Klux Klan. Mount Rushmore, of course, was carved into Six Grandfathers, a mountain taken from the Lakota Sioux by the United States government.
  • In 1941, Norman Rockwell’s Willie Gillis character debuted on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
  • Also in 1941, author Anne Rice was born.
  • In 1946, actress and activist Susan Sarandon was born.
  • In 1956, Austrian-German actor Christoph Waltz was born.
  • In 1957, Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.
  • In 1967, actor and director Liev Schreiber was born.
  • In 1976, actress, producer, and author Alicia Silverstone was born.
  • In 1980, Thundarr the Barbarian premiered on television.
  • In 1985, the Free Software Foundation was founded.
  • In 1988, actress and singer Melissa Benoist was born.
  • In 2004, SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight.


October 4th is World Animal Day, an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated on the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

World Animal Day was originated by cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann. He organized the first World Animal Day on March 24, 1925, at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended the first event, and it was only celebrated on that day because the venue was not available on October 4th. It finally made it to October 4th in 1929.

The mission of World Animal Day is “to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It is celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognized as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.”


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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