The Thing About Today – October 7

October 7, 2020
Day 281 of 366

October 7th is the 281st day of the year. It is Teachers’ Day in Laos.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Chocolate Covered Pretzel Day, National LED Light Day, National Frappe Day, National Inner Beauty Day, National Walk to School Day, National Pumpkin Seed Day, and National Coffee with a Cop Day. The last three are typically observed on the first Wednesday in October.

Historical items of note:

  • Today in 3761 BC marks the epoch reference date, or origin, of the modern Hebrew calendar.
  • In 1826, the Granite Railway began operations as the first chartered railway in the United States.
  • In 1868, Cornell University held opening day ceremonies. Initial student enrollment was 412, the highest at any American university to that date.
  • In 1885, Danish physicist and philosopher Niels Bohr was born. He made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.
  • In 1912, the Helsinki Stock Exchange saw its first transaction.
  • In 1919, KLM was founded. It is the flag carrier of the Netherlands, and is the oldest airline still operating under its original name.
  • In 1931, South African archbishop and activist Desmond Tutu was born.
  • In 1933, Air France was inaugurated after being formed by a merger of five French airlines.
  • In 1944, during an uprising at the Birkenau concentration camp, Jewish prisoners burned down Crematorium IV.
  • In 1949, the communist German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was formed.
  • In 1951, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor John Mellencamp was born.
  • In 1955, French-American cellist and educator Yo-Yo Ma was born.
  • In 1958, the United States manned space-flight project was renamed Project Mercury.
  • In 1959, the Soviet probe Luna 3 transmitted the first-ever photographs of the far side of the Moon.
  • In 1966, Italian-American composer and conductor Marco Beltrami was born.
  • In 1967, singer-songwriter, producer, and actress Toni Braxton was born.
  • In 1971, The French Connection premiered.
  • In 1979, twin actors Aaron and Shawn Ashmore were born.
  • In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was found tied to a fence after being savagely beaten by two young adults in Laramie, Wyoming. He died five days later. Both of his murderers were convicted and each of them received two consecutive life sentences.
  • In 2002, the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on STS-112 to continue assembly of the International Space Station.
  • In 2008, the music, podcast, and video streaming service Spotify was launched.
  • In 2018, Jodie Whittaker debuted in her first full episode as the Thirteenth and first female Doctor on Doctor Who.

October 7th is National Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day.

The observance promotes research to help find a cure for trigeminal neuralgia, as well as support for improved diagnoses and treatment procedures. The observance encourages supporters to wear teal.

The trigeminal nerve is the largest of cranial nerves and consists of 12 pairs that control many functions of the face. Pressure on the nerve, aging, or deterioration of the myelin due to conditions like cerebal palsy induce severe pain in the face and jaw. The pain may be localized or spread, and it may worsen over time.

While treatments such as surgery or medications may provide relief, the condition is progressive over time.

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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