The Thing About Today – December 3

December 3, 2020
Day 338 of 366

December 3rd is the 338th day of the year. It is Doctors’ Day in Cuba.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Roof Over Your Head Day.

Historical items of note:

  • In 1775, USS Alfred became the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag, which was the precursor to the Stars and Stripes. The flag was hoisted by John Paul Jones.
  • In 1800, the Presidential Election resulted in an Electoral College tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. The House of Representatives convened a contingent election during which each state delegation cast one vote, and a victory in the contingent election required one candidate to win a majority of the state delegations. Neither candidate was able to win on the first 35 ballots of the contingent election. Most Federalist Congressmen backed Burr and all Democratic-Republican Congressmen backed Jefferson. Alexander Hamilton favored Jefferson over Burr, and he convinced several Federalists to switch their support to Jefferson. This gave Jefferson a victory on the 36th ballot of the contingent election.
  • In 1842, businessman Charles Alfred Pillsbury was born. He founded the Pillsbury Company.
  • In 1857, Polish-born British novelist Joseph Conrad was born. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he was considered a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature.
  • In 1904, the Jovian moon Himalia was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at California’s Lick Observatory.
  • In 1910, modern neon lighting was first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show.
  • In 1927, Putting Pants on Philip, the first Laurel and Hardy film, was released.
  • In 1960, the musical Camelot debuted at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway. It would become associated with the Kennedy administration.
  • Also in 1960, actress and producer Daryl Hannah was born.
  • Also in 1960, actress and author Julianne Moore was born.
  • In 1968, actor and producer Brendan Fraser was born.
  • In 1973, Pioneer 10 sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
  • In 1981, actor Brian Bonsall was born.
  • In 1992, a test engineer for Sema Group used a personal computer to send the world’s first text message via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague.
  • In 1994, the PlayStation video game console, developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment, was released in Japan.
  • In 1999, NASA lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere.
  • In 2005, XCOR Aerospace made the first manned rocket aircraft delivery of U.S. Mail in Kern County, California.
  • In 2014, the Japanese space agency, JAXA, launched the space explorer Hayabusa2 from the Tanegashima Space Center on a six-year round trip mission to an asteroid to collect rock samples.

December 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

It is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been observed with varying degrees of success around the planet.

The goal is to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007.

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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