The Thing About Today – October 11

October 11, 2020
Day 285 of 366

October 11th is the 285th day of the year. It is National Coming Out Day, an LGBT awareness day to support members of the LGBT community if they choose to “come out of the closet”.

It’s a personal choice with a lot of factors involved, but if you choose today, know that you are seen, loved, and supported.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Sausage Pizza Day, General Pulaski Memorial Day, and Clergy Appreciation Day (also known as Pastor Appreciation Day or Ministry Appreciation Day, and typically observed on the second Sunday in October).

Historical items of note:

  • In 1767, surveying for the Mason–Dixon line separating Maryland from Pennsylvania was completed. It forms part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (which was part of Virginia until 1863). It later became informally known as the border between the free (Northern) states and the slave (Southern) states during the American Civil War since the Virginia portion was the northern border of the Confederacy.
  • In 1852, the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, was inaugurated in Sydney.
  • In 1865, hundreds of black men and women marched in Jamaica, starting the Morant Bay rebellion.
  • In 1950, CBS’s field-sequential color system for television became the first to be licensed for broadcast by the United States Federal Communications Commission.
  • In 1958, NASA launched Pioneer 1. It was NASA’s first space probe, but it failed to achieve a stable orbit.
  • In 1960, actress Nicola Bryant was born. She is known for her role as Perpugilliam “Peri” Brown, a companion to both the Fifth and Sixth Doctors in Doctor Who.
  • In 1966, actor and producer Luke Perry was born.
  • In 1968, NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Walter M. Schirra, Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham aboard.
  • In 1972, a race riot occurred on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk (CV-63) off the coast of Vietnam. At the time, under the Navy’s tradition of Southern white leadership coupled with low test scores, black sailors spent more time assigned to the least desirable, most difficult and least dignified jobs, while whites were routinely promoted to the most desirable and more respected jobs, and accounted for 99% of the Navy’s officers.
  • Also in 1972, actress Claudia Black was born.
  • In 1975, Saturday Night Live debuted. The show’s first host was George Carlin.
  • In 1976, actress and producer Emily Deschanel was born.
  • In 1977, actor and producer Matt Bomer was born.
  • In 1984, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger during mission STS-41-G, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a space walk.
  • In 1985, actress Michelle Trachtenberg was born.
  • In 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was first displayed during the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
  • In 1991, Professor Anita Hill delivered her televised testimony concerning sexual harassment during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination.
  • In 2000, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-92, marking the 100th Space Shuttle mission.
  • In 2001, the Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

October 11th is International Day of the Girl Child.

Also known as the Day of the Girls and the International Day of the Girl, it is an international observance declared by the United Nations that supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.

The Day of Girls helps raise awareness not only of the issues that girls face, but also of what is likely to happen when those problems are solved. For example, educating girls helps reduce the rate of child marriage, disease and helps strengthen the economy by helping girls have access to higher paying jobs.

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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