The Thing About Today – November 1

November 1, 2020
Day 306 of 366

November 1st is the 306th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda, celebrating their separation from the United Kingdom in 1981.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Authors’ Day, National Brush Day, National Calzone Day, National Cinnamon Day, National Deep Fried Clams Day, National  Cook For Your Pets Day, National Family Literacy Day, and National Vinegar Day.

Also, remember to set your clocks back an hour unless you live in one of those lucky places that doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time. It ends for another season at 2:00am today.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, was exhibited to the public for the first time.
  • In 1520, the Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, was first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.
  • In 1585, Jan Brożek was born. A Polish polymath, he was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, poet, writer, musician, and rector of the Kraków Academy.
  • In 1604, William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello was performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
  • In 1611, Shakespeare’s play The Tempest was performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
  • In 1800, John Adams became the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion. It was later renamed as the White House.
  • In 1848, Boston Female Medical School opened in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first medical school for women, and later merged with the Boston University School of Medicine.
  • In 1870, the Weather Bureau made its first official meteorological forecast in the United States. It was later renamed as the National Weather Service.
  • In 1894, Nicholas II became the new (and last) Tsar of Russia after his father, Alexander III, died.
  • In 1896, a picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appeared in National Geographic magazine for the first time.
  • In 1897, the first Library of Congress building opened its doors to the public. The library had previously been housed in the Congressional Reading Room in the United States Capitol.
  • In 1922, the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed VI, abdicated.
  • In 1926, actress Betsy Palmer was born.
  • In 1928, the Law on the Adoption and Implementation of the Turkish Alphabet replaced the Arabic alphabet with the Latin alphabet.
  • In 1938, Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed “the match of the century” in horse racing.
  • In 1946, special effects artist Dennis Muren was born.
  • In 1949, actress and acting coach Belita Moreno was born.
  • In 1953, astronaut Jan Davis was born.
  • In 1955, the Vietnam War began.
  • In 1957, The Mackinac Bridge opened. It was the world’s longest suspension bridge between anchorages at the time, and it opened to traffic connecting Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.
  • In 1960, while campaigning for President of the United States, John F. Kennedy announced his idea of the Peace Corps.
  • In 1963, the Arecibo Observatory officially opened in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It housed the largest radio telescope ever constructed.
  • In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating system was officially introduced. The original ratings were G, M, R, and X.
  • In 1972, actress Toni Collette was born.
  • In 1982, Honda became the first Asian automobile company to produce cars in the United States with the opening of its factory in Marysville, Ohio. The first car produced there was a Honda Accord.
  • In 1984, English actress Natalia Tena was born.
  • In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty took effect, formally establishing the European Union.
  • In 1997, Titanic premiered.

November 1st is International Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Awareness Day.

Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a complex, rare, and severe childhood-onset epilepsy. It is characterized by multiple and concurrent seizure types, cognitive dysfunction, and slow spike waves on an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Typically, it presents in children between 3 to 5 years of age and can persist into adulthood. It has been associated with several gene mutations, perinatal insults, congenital infections, brain tumors and malformations, and genetic disorders such as tuberous sclerosis and West syndrome. The prognosis for the condition is poor with a five percent mortality in childhood and persistent seizures into adulthood.

LGS was named for neurologists William G. Lennox (from Boston, Massachusetts) and Henri Gastaut (from Marseille, France), both of who, independently described the condition.

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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