The Thing About Today – December 2

December 2, 2020
Day 337 of 366

December 2nd is the 337th day of the year. It is National Day in the United Arab Emirates, commemorating the country’s formal nationalization in 1971.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Fritters Day, National Mutt Day, Special Education Day, and National Package Protection Day (typically observed on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving).

Historical items of note:

  • In 1845, United States President James K. Polk proposed that the United States should aggressively expand into the West during his State of the Union address. This led to the widely held American imperialist cultural belief that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. 
  • In 1867, at Tremont Temple in Boston, Massachusetts, British author Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States.
  • In 1939, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport opened.
  • In 1942, during the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
  • In 1954, the United States Senate voted 65 to 22 to censure Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute”.
  • In 1963, English actor Brendan Coyle was born.
  • In 1968, actress and producer Lucy Liu was born.
  • In 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency began operations.
  • In 1982, at the University of Utah, Barney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

December 2nd is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, an international day organized in 1986 by the United Nations General Assembly.

It follows from the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on December 2, 1949. The date is used to raise awareness of the atrocities of modern slavery.

It should not be confused with a similar United Nations day, the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, observed annually on August 23rd to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade.

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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