The Thing About Today – October 15

October 15, 2020
Day 289 of 366

October 15th is the 289th day of the year. It is Breast Health Day in Europe, a day of awareness of breast cancer and improvement of breast cancer services by promoting early detection, optimal treatment and research.

It is also White Cane Safety Day in the United States, a day to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane. In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Shawarma Day, National Aesthetician Day, National Cheese Curd Day, National I Love Lucy Day, National Grouch Day, National Get Smart About Credit Day (typically observed on the third Thursday in October), and Get to Know Your Customers Day (typically observed on the third Thursday of Each Quarter).

It is also National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1582, adoption of the Gregorian calendar began, eventually leading to near-universal adoption.
  • In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon made the first human ascent, piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier.
  • In 1863, the H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sunk, killing its inventor.
  • In 1888, the “From Hell” letter allegedly sent by Jack the Ripper was received by investigators.
  • In 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari was executed by France for espionage.
  • In 1924, actor Mark Lenard was born.
  • In 1939, the New York Municipal Airport (later renamed LaGuardia Airport) was dedicated.
  • In 1940, The Great Dictator, a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin, was released.
  • In 1943, actress, director, and producer Penny Marshall was born.
  • In 1951, I Love Lucy premiered.
  • In 1955, actress Tanya Roberts was born.
  • In 1956, FORTRAN, the first modern computer language, was first shared with the coding community.
  • In 1991, The “Oh-My-God particle”, an ultra-high-energy cosmic ray measured at 40,000,000 times that of the highest energy protons produced in a particle accelerator was observed at the University of Utah HiRes observatory in Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
  • In 1997, the Cassini probe launched from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.
  • In 2001, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passed within 112 miles of Jupiter’s moon Io.

October 15th is Global Handwashing Day.

Global Handwashing Day is an international handwashing promotion campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits. Washing hands at critical points during the day and washing with soap are both important.

The global campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key factor in disease prevention. Respiratory and intestinal diseases can be reduced by 25-50% through efficient and effective handwashing habits.

It’s vitally important, especially in the current pandemic, to prevent the spread of disease. The most I have been disgusted by handwashing habits was at Disney World when watching people from across the world walk right past the sinks after using the restroom.

At a minimum, twenty seconds with warm water and soap is the key.

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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