The Thing About Today – October 28

October 28, 2020
Day 302 of 366

October 28th is the 302nd day of the year. It is the Day of the Establishment of an Independent Czecho-Slovak State, which celebrates the independence of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic) from Austria-Hungary in 1918.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Internal Medicine Day, National Chocolate Day, and National First Responders Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to establish a theological college, which would later become Harvard University.
  • In 1664, the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, later to be known as the Royal Marines, were established.
  • In 1726, the novel Gulliver’s Travels – also known as Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships – by the Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift was published.
  • In 1893, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique received its première performance only nine days before the composer’s death.
  • In 1919, the United States Congress passed the Volstead Act over President Wilson’s veto, paving the way for Prohibition to begin the following January.
  • In 1941, English actor and writer Ian Marter was born. He portrayed Harry Sullivan on Doctor Who.
  • In 1942, the Alaska Highway first connected Alaska to the North American railway network at Dawson Creek in Canada.
  • In 1948, Paul Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT.
  • In 1952, actress Annie Potts was born.
  • In 1955, businessman, philanthropist, and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates was born.
  • In 1956, Elvis Presley received a polio vaccination on national television.
  • In 1962, actress Daphne Zuniga was born.
  • In 1963, actress Lauren Holly was born.
  • In 1967, actress and producer Julia Roberts was born.
  • In 1971, Prospero became the only British satellite to be launched by a British rocket.
  • In 1978, English actress Gwendoline Christie was born.
  • In 1982, actor and Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith was born.
  • In 2009, NASA successfully launched the Ares I-X mission, the only rocket launch for the short-lived Constellation program.
  • In 2014, a rocket carrying NASA’s Cygnus CRS Orb-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station exploded seconds after taking off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.

October 28th is International Animation Day, an international observance proclaimed in 2002 by the International Animated Film Association (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation, also known as ASIFA) as the main global event to celebrate the art of animation.

It commemorates the first public performance in 1892 of Charles-Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris. In 1895, the Cinematograph of the Lumière brothers outshone Reynaud’s invention, driving him to bankruptcy, but his public performance of animation still predates the camera-made movies in cinematic history.

In recent years, the event has been observed in more than 50 countries with more than 1000 events, on every continent, all over the world. During International Animation Day, cultural institutions are also invited to by screening animated films, organizing workshops, exhibiting artwork and stills, providing technical demonstrations, and organizing other events helping to promote the art of animation. Such a celebration is an outstanding opportunity of putting animated films in the limelight, making this art more accessible to the public.

ASIFA also commissions an artist to create an original art poster announcing the event each year. It is then adapted for each country in order to guarantee a worldwide view of the event. Previous editions involved the work of animators such as Iouri Tcherenkov, Paul Driessen, Abi Feijo, Eric Ledune, Noureddin Zarrinkelk, Michel Ocelot, Nina Paley, Raoul Servais, Ihab Shaker, and Gianluigi Toccafondo.

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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