The Thing About Today – October 14

October 14, 2020
Day 288 of 366

October 14th is the 288th day of the year. It is National Education Day in Poland, formerly known as Teachers’ Day.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Dessert Day, Be Bald and Be Free Day, and National Take Your Parents To Lunch Day. It’s also host to four observances centered on the second Wednesday in October: National Curves Day, National Emergency Nurse’s Day, National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work/School Day, and National Stop Bullying Day. Finally, today is National Fossil Day, typically observed on the Wednesday of the second full week in October.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1322, Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at the Battle of Old Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.
  • In 1582, because of the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, this day didn’t exist in in Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.
  • In 1884, George Eastman received a United States Government patent on his new paper-strip photographic film.
  • In 1888, Louis Le Prince filmed the first motion picture, Roundhay Garden Scene.
  • In 1894, poet and playwright e e cummings was born.
  • Also in 1894, British marine engineer Victoria Drummond was born. She was the first woman marine engineer in the UK and the first woman member of Institute of Marine Engineers. In World War II, she served at sea as an engineering officer in the British Merchant Navy and received awards for bravery under enemy fire.
  • In 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot and mildly wounded by John Flammang Schrank. Even with the fresh wound in his chest, and the bullet still lodged within it, Roosevelt delivered his scheduled speech.
  • In 1914, chemist and physicist Raymond Davis Jr. was born. He is best known as the leader of the Homestake experiment from the 1960s to the 1980s, which was the first experiment to detect neutrinos emitted from the Sun. For this, he shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • In 1926, children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne, was first published.
  • In 1927, actor and producer Roger Moore was born.
  • In 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to exceed the speed of sound.
  • In 1949, actress Katy Manning was born. She played companion Jo Grant on Doctor Who.
  • In 1952, actor Harry Anderson was born.
  • In 1961, actress Melanie Wilson was born.
  • In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis began when an American reconnaissance aircraft took photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles being installed in Cuba.
  • In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.
  • In 1966, the city of Montreal began operation of its underground Montreal Metro rapid transit system.
  • In 1968, the first live TV broadcast by American astronauts in orbit was performed by the Apollo 7 crew.
  • In 1974, singer-songwriter Natalie Maines was born.
  • In 1977, Anita Bryant had a pie thrown in her face at a news conference in Des Moines by gay rights activist Tom Higgins for her anti-LGBT commentary.
  • In 1978, Rescue from Gilligan’s Island premiered. It was the first TV movie based on a television series.
  • In 1979, the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights drew approximately 100,000 people.
  • In 1980, actor Ben Wishaw was born.
  • In 1982, United States President Ronald Reagan proclaimed a War on Drugs.
  • In 1998, Eric Rudolph was charged with six bombings, including the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • In 2012, Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped to Earth from a balloon in the stratosphere.
  • In 2014, Utah State University received a bomb threat against feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian, who was to give a lecture the next day.

October 14th is World Standards Day.

Also known as International Standards Day, this international celebration honors the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry professionals, and consumers about the importance of standardization to the global economy.

October 14th was specifically chosen to mark the date in 1946. On that day, delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London and decided to create an international organization focused on facilitating standardization. Even though the ISO was formed one year later, it wasn’t until 1970 that the first World Standards Day was celebrated.

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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