The Thing About Today – November 16

November 16, 2020
Day 321 of 366

November 16th is the 321st day of the year. It is Statia Day in the Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius, a special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It celebrates the “First Salute”, when Sint Eustatius (known locally as Statia) became the first country to recognize the United States.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fast Food Day, National Button Day, and National Indiana Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1836, Kalākaua of Hawaii, the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, was born.
  • In 1852, the English astronomer John Russell Hind discovered the asteroid 22 Kalliope.
  • In 1855, David Livingstone became the first European to see the Victoria Falls in what is now Zambia-Zimbabwe.
  • In 1904, English engineer John Ambrose Fleming received a patent for the thermionic valve (vacuum tube).
  • In 1907, actor, singer, director, producer, and screenwriter Burgess Meredith was born.
  • In 1914, the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States officially opened.
  • In 1920, Qantas, Australia’s national airline, was founded as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited.
  • In 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established formal diplomatic relations.
  • In 1938, LSD was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann from ergotamine at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.
  • In 1945, UNESCO was founded.
  • In 1952, Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto was born. A video game designer, producer, and game director at Nintendo, he serves as one of its representative directors. He is the creator of some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises of all time, including Mario and The Legend of Zelda.
  • In 1958, actress Marg Helgenberger was born.
  • In 1962, Canadian writer and artist Darwyn Cooke was born.
  • In 1964, Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist Diana Krall was born.
  • In 1965, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 3 space probe toward Venus, which was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of another planet.
  • Also in 1965, Walt Disney launched Epcot Center. EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
  • In 1970, actress Martha Plimpton was born.
  • In 1973, NASA launched Skylab 4 with a crew of three astronauts  – Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue  – from Cape Canaveral, Florida for an 84-day mission.
  • In 1974, the Arecibo message was broadcast from the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. It was aimed at the current location of the globular star cluster Messier 13 some 25,000 light years away. The message will reach empty space by the time it finally arrives since the cluster will have changed position.
  • In 1976, Renee MacRae and her son Andrew disappeared from Inverness. The disappearance is currently Britain’s longest-running missing persons case.
  • In 1977, Australian singer-songwriter and actress Gigi Edgley was born.
  • Also in 1977, actress and singer Maggie Gyllenhaal was born.
  • In 1979, the first line of Bucharest Metro (Line M1) was opened from Timpuri Noi to Semănătoarea in Bucharest, Romania.
  • In 1990, pop group Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It’s True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.
  • In 1992, the Hoxne Hoard was discovered by metal detectorist Eric Lawes in Hoxne, Suffolk. The Hoxne Hoard is the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, and the largest collection of gold and silver coins of the fourth and fifth centuries found anywhere within the Roman Empire. In 1993, the Treasure Valuation Committee valued the hoard at £1.75 million (roughly equivalent to £3.59 million or $4.74 million in 2019).

November 16th is the International Day for Tolerance.

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.

Every year various conferences and festivals are organized in the occasion of International Day for Tolerance. Among them, “Universal Tolerance Cartoon Festival” in Drammen, Norway which organized an International Cartoon Festival in 2013.

The day is observed in Bangladesh with Peace Summit. Peace Summit is organized by Preneur Lab and the EMK Center. The conference is a platform to talk and share on country’s challenges on issues like peace, tolerance, fake news, online safety, and hate.

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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