The Thing About Today – November 12

November 12, 2020
Day 317 of 366

November 12th is the 317th day of the year. It is both Father’s Day and National Health Day in Indonesia.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National French Dip Day, National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, and National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1439, Plymouth became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.
  • In 1912, the frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
  • In 1918, Austria became a republic. After the proclamation, a coup attempt by the communist Red Guard was defeated by the social-democratic Volkswehr.
  • In 1929, actress Grace Kelly was born. She was later known Princess Grace of Monaco.
  • In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic in California.
  • In 1943, actor, comedian and playwright Wallace Shawn was born.
  • In 1946, Walt Disney’s Song of the South premiered at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. Actor James Baskett was unable to attend the film’s premiere because he would not have been allowed to participate in any of the festivities. At that time, Atlanta was still a racially segregated city.
  • In 1954, Ellis Island ceased operations.
  • In 1956, comedian Rhonda Shear was born.
  • In 1958, actress Megan Mullally was born.
  • In 1969, independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story of the My Lai Massacre.
  • In 1970, the Oregon Highway Division attempted to destroy a rotting beached Sperm whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous “exploding whale” incident.
  • In 1980, the NASA space probe Voyager I made its closest approach to Saturn and took the first images of its rings.
  • Also in 1980, Canadian actor, producer and singer Ryan Gosling was born.
  • In 1981, mission STS-2, utilizing the Space Shuttle Columbia, marked the first time a manned spacecraft was launched into space twice.
  • In 1982, actress Anne Hathaway was born.
  • In 2014, the Philae lander, deployed from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe, reached the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
  • In 2019, the Walt Disney Company launched Disney+, their exclusive streaming service.

November 12th is World Pneumonia Day.

World Pneumonia Day provides an annual forum for the world to stand together and demand action in the fight against pneumonia. Pneumonia is a preventable and treatable disease that sickens 155 million children under 5 and kills 1.6 million each year. It is the top killer of children under 5, claiming more lives in this age group than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Yet most people are unaware of pneumonia’s overwhelming death toll. Because of this, pneumonia has been overshadowed as a priority on the global health agenda, and rarely receives coverage in the news media.

World Pneumonia Day helps to bring this health crisis to the public’s attention and encourages policy makers and grassroots organizers alike to combat the disease.

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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