The Thing About Today – October 23

October 23, 2020
Day 297 of 366

October 23rd is the 297th day of the year. It is Paris Peace Agreement Day in Cambodia, commemorating the Paris Peace Agreements (សន្ធិសញ្ញាសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីស in Khmer) that marked the official end of the Cambodian–Vietnamese War in 1991

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Boston Cream Pie Day, National TV Talk Show Host Day (coincides with Johnny Carson’s birthday), Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day, and iPod Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1850, the first National Women’s Rights Convention began in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • In 1906, Alberto Santos-Dumont flew an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe.
  • In 1925, comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson was born.
  • In 1941, Walt Disney’s Dumbo premiered.
  • In 1942, author, director, producer, and screenwriter Michael Crichton was born.
  • In 1954, Taiwanese-American director, producer, and screenwriter Ang Lee was born.
  • In 1956, the first video recording on magnetic tape was televised coast-to-coast.
  • In 1958, the Smurfs debuted on television in the story “Johan and Pirlouit” by Belgium cartoonist Peyo.
  • In 1959, actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Sam Raimi was born.
  • Also in 1959, singer-songwriter, comedian, and actor “Weird Al” Yankovic was born.
  • In 1970, Gary Gabelich set a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame which was fueled with natural gas.
  • Also in 1970, television presenter and engineer Grant Imahara was born.
  • In 1976, Canadian-American actor and producer Ryan Reynolds was born.
  • In 1986, English actress Emilia Clarke was born.
  • In 1995, Yolanda Saldívar was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of popular Latin singer Selena.
  • In 2012, the twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, premiered.

October 23rd is Mole Day.

No, it’s not about the underground rodent. Instead, it’s all about chemistry.

Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists, chemistry students, and chemistry enthusiasts on October 23rd, between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m. making the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates.

The time and date are derived from Avogadro’s number, which is approximately 6.02×1023, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in one mole (mol) of substance. It is one of the seven base SI units.

Mole Day originated in an article in The Science Teacher in the early 1980s. Then-high school chemistry teacher Maurice Oehler founded the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) on May 15, 1991. Many high schools around the world celebrate Mole Day as a way to get their students interested in chemistry, with various activities often related to chemistry. In fact, the American Chemical Society sponsors National Chemistry Week, which occurs from the Sunday through Saturday during which October 23rd falls. Thus, Mole Day is an integral part of National Chemistry Week.

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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