October 6, 2020
Day 280 of 366
October 6th is the 280th day of the year. It is German-American Day in the United States, celebrating German-American heritage and commemorating the founding of Germantown in Northwest Philadelphia in 1683.
In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Coaches Day, National Orange Wine Day, National Plus Size Appreciation Day, National Mad Hatter Day, National Noodle Day, and National Eat Fruit At Work Day (typically observed on the first Tuesday in October).
Historical items of note:
- In 1600, Euridice received its première performance, beginning the Baroque period. It is the earliest surviving opera.
- In 1729, English preacher Sarah Crosby was born. She was the first female Methodist preacher.
- In 1903, the High Court of Australia convened for the first time.
- Also in 1903, Irish physicist and academic Ernest Walton was born. He was a Nobel Prize laureate for his work on “atom-smashing” experiments done at Cambridge University with John Cockcroft in the early 1930s. He was the first person in history to split the atom.
- In 1927, The Jazz Singer premiered. It was the first prominent “talkie” movie.
- In 1942, Swedish actress and singer Britt Ekland was born.
- In 1960, Spartacus premiered in theaters.
- In 1963, actress Elisabeth Shue was born.
- In 1970, actress Amy Jo Johnson was born.
- In 1973, Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd was born.
- In 1995, the first planet orbiting another sun, 51 Pegasi b, was discovered.
- In 2007, Jason Lewis completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth.
- In 2010, Instagram, a mainstream photo-sharing application, was founded.
In 1973, the Yom Kippur War – also known as the Ramadan War, the October War, the Arab-Israeli War, מלחמת יום הכיפורים or מלחמת יום כיפור in Hebrew, and حرب أكتوبر or حرب تشرين in Arabic – started, fought by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel.
The war began when the Arab coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli positions, on Yom Kippur, a widely observed day of rest, fasting, and prayer in Judaism, which also occurred that year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Egyptian and Syrian forces crossed ceasefire lines to enter the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, respectively. Both the United States and the Soviet Union initiated massive resupply efforts to their respective allies during the war, and these efforts led to a near-confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers.
The conflict lasted for two weeks and five days, coming to an end on October 25th. The war had far-reaching implications for both sides. The Arab world had experienced humiliation in the lopsided rout of the Egyptian–Syrian–Jordanian alliance in the Six-Day War but felt psychologically vindicated by early successes in this conflict. The war led Israel to recognize that, despite impressive operational and tactical achievements on the battlefield, there was no guarantee that they would always dominate the Arab states militarily, as they had consistently through the earlier 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Suez Crisis, and the Six-Day War.
These changes paved the way for a subsequent peace process, including the 1978 Camp David Accords.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
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