The Thing About Today – November 8

November 8, 2020
Day 313 of 366

November 8th is the 313th day of the year. It is National Aboriginal Veterans Day in Canada, a memorial day observed in recognition of aboriginal contributions to military service, particularly in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Cappuccino Day, National Harvey Wallbanger Day, National Parents as Teachers Day, and National STEM/STEAM Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1602, the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford was opened to the public.
  • In 1656, English astronomer and mathematician Edmond Halley was born. He used the laws of motion to compute the periodicity of Halley’s Comet in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets. It was named after him upon its predicted return in 1758, which he did not live to see.
  • In 1836, businessman Milton Bradley was born. He founded the Milton Bradley Company, known for its family board games.
  • In 1847, Irish novelist and critic Bram Stoker was born.
  • In 1895, while experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray.
  • In 1900, journalist and author Margaret Mitchell was born. She wrote Gone with the Wind.
  • In 1923, physicist and engineer Jack Kilby was born. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit.
  • In 1935, Mutiny in the Bounty premiered.
  • In 1949, All the King’s Men premiered.
  • In 1952, actress Alfre Woodard was born.
  • In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected as the 35th President of the United States, defeating incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon, who would later be elected President in 1968 and 1972.
  • In 1965, the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 was given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom. Exception included cases of high treason, “piracy with violence” (piracy with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm), arson in royal dockyards and espionage, as well as other capital offences under military law. The death penalty would be abolished in all cases in 1998.
  • In 1966, former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.
  • Also in 1966, British chef Gordon Ramsay was born.
  • In 1968, actress Parker Posey was born.
  • In 1972, the premium television network Home Box Office (HBO) launched, initially transmitting to 365 Teleservice Cable subscribers in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. First operating as a Northeastern U.S.-based regional service, HBO was one of the first cable-originated television channels. HBO’s inaugural programming that evening consisted of its first event telecast (an NHL hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks) and its first movie presentation (Sometimes a Great Notion from 1971).
  • In 1985, actress Magda Apanowicz was born.
  • In 1999, the nineteenth James Bond film, The World is Not Enough premiered.
  • In 2011, the potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth, which is translated to 324,600 kilometers or 201,700 miles. This was the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15 in 1976.

November 8th is the International Day of Radiology.

The International Day of Radiology promotes the role of medical imaging in modern healthcare. It is celebrated on November 8th coinciding with the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays.

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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