The Thing About Today – October 9

October 9, 2020
Day 283 of 366

October 9th is the 283rd day of the year. It is Fire Prevention Day in the United States and Canada.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Leif Erikson Day and National Moldy Cheese Day.

Historical items of note:

  • Today in 1410 marks the first known mention of the Prague astronomical clock.
  • In 1446, the hangul alphabet was published in Korea.
  • In 1604, Supernova 1604 was sighted. It was the most recent supernova to be observed within the Milky Way.
  • In 1701, The Collegiate School of Connecticut, later renamed as Yale University, was chartered in Old Saybrook.
  • In 1824, slavery was abolished in Costa Rica.
  • In 1825, Restauration arrived in New York Harbor from Norway. It was the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.
  • In 1834, The Dublin and Kingstown Railway opened. It was the first public railway on the island of Ireland.
  • In 1847, slavery was abolished in Saint Barthélemy.
  • In 1926, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was formed.
  • In 1936, Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam) began generating and transmitting electricity for Los Angeles, California.
  • Also in 1936, actor Brian Blessed was born.
  • In 1951, actor Robert Wuhl was born.
  • In 1954, actor Scott Bakula was born.
  • In 1964, director Guillermo del Toro was born.
  • In 1979, actor Brandon Routh was born.
  • In 1986, The Phantom of the Opera, eventually the second longest running musical in London, opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
  • In 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test.
  • In 2017, producer Harvey Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company after allegations of sexual abuse. This gave birth to the #MeToo Movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicized allegations of sex crimes committed by powerful and/or prominent men.

In 1874, the Universal Postal Union was created by the Treaty of Bern. It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system.

The Universal Postal Union was the start of the global communications revolution, introducing the ability to write letter to others all over the world. Postal systems have been in operation for many centuries, operating on foot or on horseback by special messengers. From the 1600s, the first national postage systems began springing up in many countries. International mail exchange followed, giving birth to a global postal service, but it was slow and complicated. The Universal Postal Union opened the way for the efficient postal service.

To celebrate the anniversary, World Post Day started in 1969. To celebrate, post offices in some countries hold special stamp collection exhibitions, hold workshops on postal history, and organize international letter writing competitions for young people.

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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