The Thing About Today – November 3

November 3, 2020
Day 308 of 366

November 3rd is the 308th day of the year. It is Independence Day in several locations, including Panama (celebrating Separation Day from from Colombia in 1903), Dominica (from the United Kingdom in 1978), and the Federated States of Micronesia (from the United States in 1986).

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Housewife’s Day and National Sandwich Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1749, Daniel Rutherford was born. He was the Scottish chemist and physician who isolated nitrogen in 1772.
  • In 1783, the American Continental Army was disbanded.
  • In 1793, French playwright, journalist, and feminist Olympe de Gouges was guillotined.
  • In 1817, the Bank of Montreal, Canada’s oldest chartered bank, opened in Montreal.
  • In 1838, The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper, was founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.
  • In 1868, John Willis Menard (a Republican from Louisiana) became the first African American elected to the United States Congress. Because of an electoral challenge, he was never seated.
  • In 1910, actor Richard Hurndall was born. He was the second actor to officially portray the First Doctor on Doctor Who.
  • In 1911, Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.
  • In 1921, soldier and actor Charles Bronson was born.
  • In 1933, English-American composer and conductor John Barry was born.
  • In 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected President of the United States.
  • In 1948, Scottish singer-songwriter and actress Lulu was born.
  • In 1952, voice actor Jim Cummings was born.
  • In 1953, actress and producer Kate Capshaw was born.
  • In 1956, The Wizard of Oz was first televised on CBS.
  • In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2. On board was the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika.
  • Also in 1957, Swedish actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and martial artist Dolph Lundgren was born.
  • In 1973, NASA launched the Mariner 10 toward Mercury. On March 29, 1974, it became the first space probe to reach that planet.
  • In 2014, One World Trade Center officially opened. It is the replacement for the World Trade Center Twin Towers, in New York City, after the towers were each destroyed by airplanes during the attacks of September 11, 2001.

November 3rd is Culture Day (文化の日) in Japan, a national holiday held for the purpose of promoting culture, the arts, and academic endeavor.

Culture Day was first held in 1948 to commemorate the announcement of the post-war Japanese constitution on November 3, 1946. The date of November 3rd was first celebrated as a national holiday in 1868, when it was called Tenchō-setsu (天長節), a holiday held in honor of the birthday of the reigning Emperor (Emperor Meiji), and following his death in 1912, the date ceased to be a holiday until 1927. At that point, Emperor Meiji’s birthday was given its own specific holiday (Meiji-setsu, or 明治節) which was subsequently discontinued with the announcement of Culture Day in 1948.

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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