The Thing About Today – November 22

November 22, 2020
Day 327 of 366

November 22nd is the 327th day of the year. It is Independence Day in Lebanon as they celebrate the nation’s independence from France in 1943.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Cranberry Relish Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1574, Spanish navigator Juan Fernández discovered islands now known as the Juan Fernández Islands off Chile.
  • In 1921, comedian, actor, rapper, and screenwriter Rodney Dangerfield was born.
  • In 1928, Ravel’s Boléro had its premier performance in Paris.
  • In 1932, actor and director Robert Vaughn was born.
  • In 1935, the China Clipper inaugurated the first commercial transpacific air service, connecting Alameda, California with Manila.
  • In 1940, actor, director, animator, and screenwriter Terry Gilliam was born.
  • In 1954, the Humane Society of the United States was founded.
  • In 1958, actress Jamie Lee Curtis was born.
  • In 1963, United States President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Texas Governor John Connally was seriously wounded. Upon leaving the scene, alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald killed Dallas Police officer J. D. Tippit. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States afterwards.
  • In 1965, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen was born.
  • In 1967, actor and activist Mark Ruffalo was born.
  • In 1968, Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” was first aired. The episode features a passionate (but forced) kiss between James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) which is usually described as the first scripted interracial kiss of that kind between a white man and a black woman on American television.
  • In 1977, British Airways inaugurated a regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.
  • In 1984, Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood presented one of his famous sweaters to the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Also in 1984, actress Scarlett Johansson was born.
  • In 1987, two Chicago television stations were hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom. They interrupted Doctor Who, y’all.
  • In 1989, actor Alden Ehrenreich was born.
  • In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher withdrew from the Conservative Party leadership election, confirming the end of her Prime-Ministership.
  • In 1994, the Sega Saturn was released in Japan.
  • In 1995, Toy Story was released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.
  • Also in 1995, actress Katherine McNamara was born.
  • In 2005, Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany.

November 22nd is the Day of the Albanian Alphabet.

Prior to the this date in 1908, the Albanian language was represented by a combination of six or more distinct alphabets, plus a number of sub-variants.

Between November 14th and 22nd of 1908, the Congress of Manastir (Kongresi i Manastirit in Albanian) was held as an academic conference in the city of Manastir (now known as Bitola). Their goal was standardizing the Albanian alphabet.

The day upon which the Congress was adjourned is now a commemorative day in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia, as well as among the Albanian diaspora, known as Dita e Alfabetit.

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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